UPDATE: GA trooper shot on I-75 moved out of intensive care
UPDATE: MARIETTA, GA (AP) - A Georgia State Patrol spokesman says a trooper wounded in a gun battle on Interstate 75 has been moved to a regular medical floor of a hospital.
Capt. Mark Perry said 26-year-old Trooper Jacob Fields of Jasper, Georgia, was doing well enough after surgery late Wednesday that the medical staff was able to move him to a regular floor rather than intensive care at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta.
Perry said the wounded lawman's fellow troopers volunteered overnight to stay with him and the family at the hospital, and help out in any way they could.
Authorities say Fields began pursuing a speeding pickup Wednesday afternoon until it crashed. They say the driver got out and fired at troopers, who returned fire. Authorities said suspect 26-year-old Israel Vladimir Rodriguez of Acworth was shot and later died
PREVIOUS STORY: A Georgia State Patrol trooper was shot twice after trying to pull over a speeding truck.
Capt. Mark Perry with the Georgia Department of Public safety said the trooper spotted a black Chevy Silverado and tried to pull him over, but the truck refused to stop. Several other troopers joined the chase over the next ten miles. As they neared Delk Road, the troopers tried to box him in, but he refused to stop. Instead, police say, he crashed into another car and disabled his truck. When he jumped out, Capt. Perry said shots were exchanged. He could not say at this time who fired first.
Perry identified the injured trooper as Jacob Fields. He's been a trooper for three years. Fields was shot in the stomach underneath his bulletproof vest and in the ankle. He is alert and speaking with family at Kennestone Hospital with him.
The suspect was also shot, and he is undergoing surgery at Kennestone Hospital.
The G.B.I. responded to the scene at the request of Georgia State Patrol. According to GBI spokesperson Scott Dutton, their team is working to process the crime scene and interview witnesses. When asked if there was dashcam video of the incident, Capt. Perry said the patrol cars involved had been turned over to the GBI. He said it was their policy to roll dashcam video while in pursuit and he "had no reason to believe otherwise".
Immediately following the shooting, all lanes Interstate 75 southbound were shut down at Delk Road. By 4:30, two southbound lanes had reopened in order to remove the remaining traffic from the interstate.
"It's a crime scene and that take a while to process, and unfortunately, that crime scene is in the middle of I-75," Capt. Perry said.
Remaining southbound traffic was being diverted from the interstate at the South Marietta Loop. There is no estimate as to when southbound traffic will be restored through the area. By 5 p.m., all northbound lanes of the interstate had reopened to traffic. All motorists are advised to avoid the area.
There is no estimate as to when normal traffic flow will resume. 11Alive Traffic Reporter Crash Clark says Cobb Pkwy. or Powers Ferry are the best alternates, but will fill up fast.