GBI: Coweta deputy opens fire on I-85 after stolen tractor-trailer hits patrol car

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A Coweta County deputy opened fire on a man in a stolen tractor-trailer after authorities said he led them on a reckless chase Tuesday afternoon on I-85 just east of Newnan.

The man swerved into motorists and police vehicles during the chase, prompting a deputy to resort to “deadly force” to stop the 18-wheeler, according to the Coweta County sheriff. The driver, later identified as 56-year-old Bobby Gene Ingram, was shot multiple times by Coweta County Deputy Jonathan Douglas Keeble, according to a GBI report.

“Due to the immediate threat of life to civilians and law enforcement personnel, Coweta County Sheriff’s Office deputies used deadly force during the chase to disable the vehicle,” Sheriff Lenn Wood said in a news release Tuesday.

Wood said he requested that the GBI investigate the case. It’s the 13th officer-involved shooting the state agency has been asked to investigate this year.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Deputies got reports about the tractor-trailer, which was stolen out of Forest Park. The truck was being tracked electronically on I-85 and deputies quickly located it shortly before 12:30 p.m. Ingram refused to pull over for a traffic stop, setting off the wild chase, according to the GBI.

An agency spokesperson said deputies put down stop sticks, but Ingram managed to steer around them. A spokesperson for the Georgia State Patrol said Coweta deputies called for their assistance during the chase.

The driver swerved several times and eventually struck a deputy’s truck, GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles said.

“Ingram continued driving on the interstate and a deputy pulled up beside the truck and fired his handgun from within the patrol car, striking Ingram multiple times,” Miles said.

He was treated at the scene for injuries that were not considered life-threatening before he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. No deputies or state troopers were injured in the pursuit or subsequent shooting, according to Miles.

Keeble’s law enforcement career in the state began when he joined the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office in 2015, Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council records show. He has no disciplinary history and was promoted to the rank of investigator in 2018, according to POST.

Credit: GBI

Credit: GBI

Ingram previously spent nearly eight months in Muscogee County Prison on charges of theft by receiving stolen property, obstruction of law enforcement and other drug-related offenses out of Fulton County, online records show. He was released from prison in April 2020.

All lanes of I-85 north of Sharpsburg McCollum Road were closed for more than an hour Tuesday while authorities were on the scene. The GSP is investigating the crash involving the deputy’s vehicle, an agency spokesperson said.

In northeast Georgia on Tuesday, an attempted traffic stop in Stephens County became the 14th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate this year when a man was wounded after trying to wrestle away a deputy’s gun, authorities said. It began when a deputy tried to stop a vehicle around 1:20 p.m. in Toccoa and the driver did not comply, leading the deputy on a chase, the GBI said.

The pursuit ended a few miles south when the driver crashed on Broad River Road, climbed out of the vehicle and approached the deputy, the GBI said. A struggle between the two ensued and the deputy’s gun was unholstered, the agency said. The deputy shot the man and his injuries were not considered life-threatening, according to the GBI.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don’t involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the GBI’s tally.