Photo released of man wanted in shootout with GSU police

Authorities have released a photo of a man they say opened fire on Georgia State University police before attempting to carjack a student’s vehicle.

The shootout and the attempted carjacking prompted a lockdown of the downtown Atlanta campus hours before the start of the fall semester.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

According to university police Chief Joseph P. Spillane, four officers responded to suspected drug activity in a stairwell in the parking deck of the University Commons housing complex about 10:45 p.m. Sunday.

Officers encountered three people, two men and one woman, who ran from the scene, according to a statement from Spillane. One of the men “fired several shots at an officer while a chase ensued,” he said.

Two officers returned fire, but no one was hit during the gunfire exchange “to our knowledge,” he said.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Students told Channel 2 Action News they had a nerve-wracking night and morning. They were asked to seek shelter, lock doors and remain inside after the shooting. University police flooded the area while they waited inside their dorms.

 

Student Cairah Finley said she was sitting in her car with a friend when a man with a gun tried to pull her out.

“And he opened the car door and started grabbing my wrist and he had a gun in his hand,” she told Channel 2. “I was just grabbing back, and my friend just jumped out the car. But he saw the cops pull up and he just ran.”

The lockdown was lifted about 12:30 a.m. Monday, officials said. While the complex on Piedmont Avenue remained an active crime scene and no arrests have been made, there was “no immediate danger to the campus community,” officials said in the tweet announcing the end of the lockdown.

In addition to the gunman’s photo, Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta released a photo of woman seen talking to the man right before the shooting. She is described as a person of interest.

Anyone who knows the man and woman in the pictures is asked to call Crime Stoppers. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by calling 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.