An off-duty police officer who was working an intersection in the trendy Buckhead section of Atlanta shot two men suspected of breaking into cars at Lenox Square Thursday.
Traffic on the always-clogged up arteries leading in and out of Buckhead was tied up for hours while the car thiefs led police on a high-speed chase in northern Atanta. Investigators said two men had stolen a van from the midtown area and then went to Lenox Square Mall, where they are suspected of breaking into several cars at the mall.
Officers said the men were driving down Lenox Road when they neared the intersection of Lenox and Piedmont roads.
The officer said he recognized the van officers had described as the suspects’ vehicle and tried to slow traffic while other officers could get to the scene.
“He was standing in the intersection, in full uniform directing traffic, and he held the traffic,” said Maj. Adam Lee III of Atlanta Police Department. “He held the traffic up. We’re hearing at this point that he recognized the vehicle and he tried to keep the vehicle in place because he knew other officers were in route to try and apprehend the subjects.”
Officers said the men then started trying to get away from the intersection and headed straight for the officer. That’s when police said the officer fired three shots into the van.
The men then drove the van straight through the intersection onto Carson, where they went through a gate at an apartment complex and crashed into the garage of one of the units there.
“We have significant damage to someone’s garage door in the rear of the complex,” Lee said.
Lee said the two men in the van tried to run, but both were caught.
The men were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital to be treated for the gunshot wounds. Lee said one of the men had a gunshot wound to the hand; the other had a gunshot wound to the shoulder.
Both are listed in stable condition. Lee said the men will likely face a slew of charges, including stealing a vehicle.