Georgia State Patrol Trooper Jacob Fields, a three-year-veteran, is being treated at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta after being shot following a traffic stop on I-75 today. He is expected to remain hospitalized for another two or three days.
The incident, which gridlocked the highway just as rush hour began, started as a traffic stop for speeding around Chastain Road, a few miles north of the hospital.
Georgia State Patrol Capt. Mark Perry said Fields was shot twice and returned fire. He was alert and talking, and his family is here at the hospital, Perry said during a Wednesday evening briefing. Two other troopers who responded fired their weapons and are on administrative leave while the matter is investigated.
The suspect also is being treated at Kennestone. He has gone through surgery and is now in intensive care, Perry said.
The suspect, described as a Hispanic male, refused to pull off to the side of the road. A number of troopers from Georgia State Patrol Post No. 9 arrived and boxed in the suspect, who got out of the vehicle. Shots were exchanged about 3:45 p.m.
The suspect has not been named and Perry did not know what charges he faces. He was shot in the abdomen area, Perry said. He didn’t know if the suspect is an area resident or someone who was just traveling through the area.
The suspect was traveling 98 miles per hour in a 70 mph zone in a black Chevy Silverado when he was stopped.
All southbound lanes of the interstate were initially blocked near Delk Road. Two lanes briefly reopened but, just after 4:30 p.m., Marietta police said the interstate would be shut down at South Marietta Parkway with southbound traffic redirected onto that road.
The incident had a swift and major impact on surrounding roads. Cobb Parkway was immediately swarmed as motorists sought an alternate route.