Man arrested after shooting at driver stealing his car in Midtown, police say

Credit: Henri Hollis

Credit: Henri Hollis

Alleged shooter faces reckless conduct charge

A man whose car was stolen in Midtown Atlanta on Tuesday night found himself facing charges after he pulled a gun and fired at the suspected thief, authorities said.

Christopher Rice, 28, of Lawrenceville, stepped away from his car but left it running near the intersection of 3rd and Myrtle streets, Atlanta police said. An unknown suspect hopped in and began to drive away. At that point, Rice pulled a gun and fired it at the driver, police said.

When officers arrived, they placed Rice under arrest on a reckless conduct charge. Rice’s car was recovered later Tuesday night, but the suspected thief was not found.

According to attorney Chuck Boring, a former deputy chief district attorney in Cobb County and Judicial Qualifications Commission director, Georgia state law allows people to use some force to prevent certain crimes like theft or trespass, but not if the force is likely to be deadly or intended to kill.

Deadly force, such as using a firearm, is permitted in cases where it might prevent a forcible felony, said Boring, who is now a partner at Robbins Alloy Belinfante Littlefield, LLC. A forcible felony involves physical force or violence against a victim.

“In the case of a carjacking, where someone is trying to pull you out of a car or pointing a gun at you, it’s a different story,” Boring said.

Police said the investigation into Tuesday’s car theft remains open.

Rice was booked into the Fulton County Jail but released on $10,000 bond.