Wild chase ends in officer-involved shooting at Coweta church

A prolonged high-speed pursuit of a runway girl reported to be in the company of two older men culminated in a shooting at a church Saturday night, the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office said.

One man was shot and the girl was Tasered during the dramatic scene that unfolded at the church on Bob Smith Road.

The incident started earlier in the evening when the sheriff’s department learned from a 911 call that a runaway juvenile female from Carroll County was traveling along Ga. 16 after leaving a residence in Sharpsburg. The girl, whose indentity has not been released, was accompanied by two men in their late 20s, officials said.

Authorities spotted their vehicle in the area around Ga. 16 and Turkey Creek Road and began a lengthy, high-speed pursuit that traveled many miles throughout the eastern and southern portions of Coweta County. The trio finally ditched their vehicle around the Halo Trace/Bretts Bend area of Sharpsburg, authorities said, and tried to escape on foot.

One of the men was caught after a short chase, but the girl and the other man allegedly continued to run from the authorities.

A perimeter was set up in the area by numerous law enforcement agencies and a K-9 unit was brought in to help track the on-the-run pair, who eventually managed to make their way to the church. More than 100 people were gathered there for a program when the duo burst in and asked a church leader for help in obtaining dry clothes and food.

The others were moved to safety in another part of the church and soon after, officers arrived. The man was shot during a “brief encounter with officers,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement. Meanwhile, the runaway juvenile was Tasered by another officer for allegedly failing to comply with commands to get on the ground.

She was taken to Piedmont Hospital to be examined.

The man who was shot was lifeflighted to an unidentified Atlanta area hospital, where his condition was unknown Sunday. No one else was harmed at the church, where the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has now taken over the investigation.