SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A man was shot by the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) Thursday afternoon after leading law enforcement on a pursuit in a stolen police vehicle, officials say.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) identified the suspect Friday as Jacob Anthony Palmer, 29, of Virginia.
The incident unfolded around 3 p.m. Thursday when an officer of the Chatham County Police Department (CCPD) responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at a local hotel. According to CCPD, the officer made contact with Palmer near Highway 204 and Interstate 95 and determined he was wanted on warrants out of his home state.
At one point, “a scuffle ensued,” according to police, and Palmer pulled a gun on the officer before leaving the scene in the patrol vehicle. CCPD says the officer did not fire his weapon and was not injured during the incident.
According to the GBI, now investigating the incident, Palmer fled the scene, driving in an aggressive manner and at times, in the wrong direction of traffic.
At one point, the GBI says he hit a citizen’s vehicle head on at a traffic light.
Other agencies, including GSP, joined in the pursuit, which ended in a fiery crash at the Daffin Park sign at the intersection of Victory Drive and Bee Road.
According to the GBI, after the crash, GSP troopers instructed Palmer to exit the patrol vehicle. He didn’t comply with commands and pointed a gun in GSP’s direction, the agency said, and one trooper fired his weapon.
Palmer was taken to Memorial Health for treatment where he remains at this time. The GBI says he’s listed in stable condition.
Officials closed down the intersection for several hours Thursday evening as investigators responded. The fire at the CCPD vehicle was extinguished and towed away from the scene around 9 p.m.
The GBI says a handgun was recovered from the scene of the crash.
“I usually come down Victory Drive coming from work, and I saw the blue lights, and I took the big loop around,” said James Groman.
“It’s sad how, you know, people do things and they…act out,” Groman said, adding, “I mean, do they think about ahead of time what they’re doing? You don’t steal a police car, and it’s not going to end well.”
Savannah City Council members say this is the third police chase in the last few weeks.
“Anybody who thinks they can continue this type of negative behavior and go unpunished, they’re going to have to think of something else,” said District 3 Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan.
According to the GBI, Palmer has been charged by CCPD with aggravated assault on a police officer, obstruction, theft, felony eluding, and numerous other traffic-related charges.
The GBI will turn its investigation over to the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office for review once complete.