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Officer fatally shoots driver

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

ARLINGTON -- A high-speed chase through Calhoun County climaxed with a suspect being shot dead Friday by an Edison Police Department officer, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent said.

Chad Pierce, believed to be of Edison, died from wounds he sustained in the shooting, said Mike Lewis, GBI special agent in charge.

The 20-mile chase from Edison to Arlington along rural roads started about 6 a.m., with Pierce hitting speeds topping 100 mph in his Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck, Lewis said. Police were close behind when Pierce crashed into a ditch at the end of Pioneer Road at Woodvalley Road, he added.

"The officers saw the suspect reach into his console and his glove compartment," Lewis said. "The Edison officer fired eight rounds."

The name of the officer was not made immediately available by law enforcement agencies.

The chase began when a Calhoun County Sheriff's Office deputy decided to stop Pierce in his white Avalanche, Sheriff Josh Hilton said.

Pierce took off and the deputy followed, Hilton said. The deputy was joined by patrol cars from the Edison and Arlington police departments. The officers chased Pierce, who had his lights off, through traffic, Hilton added.

Driving through Arlington, Pierce turned onto Pioneer Road and crashed in the ditch, Hilton said. The sheriff said he believed Pierce was familiar with the dangerous intersection.

That intersection has seen many crashes, said area resident Lee Conner.

"This is the first time we heard the sirens, then the crash," Conner said. "Then we heard the shots."

The crash and subsequent shooting remain under investigation, Lewis said. There were three patrol cars at the scene and there is video from each car to review he added.