Robert Ownbey
Photo: Walker County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Walker County Sheriff's Office

Man in custody after shootout with deputies in NW Georgia, GBI says

Authorities in northwest Georgia have captured a man they believe shot at deputies on Tuesday in Rossville.

The Walker County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that an arrest warrant had been issued for Robert Eric Ownbey, 45, on two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

Ownbey is accused of attempting to flee a traffic stop, crashing into a tree and then firing at two deputies, the GBI said in a news release. Deputies returned fire, striking him once in the leg. Neither deputy was hurt.

Ownbey ran away, and a 26-hour manhunt began involving several law enforcement agencies, the GBI said. He was located and surrendered without incident around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday before being taken to a hospital for medical attention.

The GBI was called in to investigate the officer-involved shooting.

It is the 81st officer-involved shooting in Georgia this year, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said. In 2017, there were 88 officer-involved shootings.

RELATED: Georgia on pace to double deadly officer-involved shootings in 2018

OVER THE LINE: An investigation into police shootings in Georgia

CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story reported that Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the suspect who allegedly traded gunfire with his deputies was Robert Dean Root, 41. Wilson retracted his statement, since Root is incarcerated at Lee State Prison in Leesburg.

Wilson also told the newspaper that John Ross III, 30, rode with Root at the beginning of the police chase, but he has since said Ross may not have been in the car. Officers arrested Ross for a violation of his probation, but they did not confirm he was involved in the chase.

The owner of the car involved in the chase incorrectly told deputies Root was the driver and Ross was involved, but Wilson said the owner lied to them.

In other news:

Drivers are advised to start their travel as early as possible Wednesday.

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