GBI: Man shot by South Georgia police after grabbing Taser, stunning officer

One man was shot by South Georgia police and another is on the run after a traffic stop led to an intentional car crash and a frightening struggle Sunday morning, according to the GBI.

The state agency said an officer in Clinch County responded with gunfire when 50-year-old Tracy Alan Guess grabbed another officer’s Taser during the fray and tried to use it on him. Samuel Reginald Thornton, 42, who was with Guess when the incident began, ran away before officers could take him into custody.

The incident began with a 911 call reporting two “suspicious persons” sitting in a car on Thelma Highway in Homerville, the GBI said. Homerville is about 35 miles from Valdosta.

Homerville officers and Clinch deputies encountered the car on Frank Sessoms Highway about 10 a.m. and tried to stop it, officials said. However, when the officers tried to make contact, Guess drove away.

He drove on Ga. 122 for about five miles to Cogdell, where he rammed his car into a Clinch deputy’s patrol vehicle, the GBI said. Thornton, who was in the passenger seat, got out and ran off.

“Officers attempted to take Guess into custody,” the GBI said. “Guess was tased several times; however, it was ineffective.”

At one point, Guess took one of the officer’s Tasers and used it to stun another officer, the GBI said. The officer who was being stunned fired, wounding Guess in the leg. He was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.

Anyone with information on the incident or details on Thornton’s whereabouts is asked to contact Homerville police at 912-487-5306.

The GBI is investigating the incident, which is among the 68 shootings involving police officers the agency has been asked to look into this year. 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.