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Georgia man wounded in gunfight with deputy after manhunt

April 19, 2021 GMT

NEWNAN, Ga. (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy shot a metro Atlanta man after officials say the man shot at a deputy during a manhunt.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says 26-year-old Mario Paul Clarke was shot in Newnan on Sunday afternoon and taken by helicopter to an Atlanta hospital, where he was in critical condition.

Police had been chasing Clarke for more than 12 hours after someone flagged down Newnan police after midnight Sunday to report a car stolen from a gas station.

The suspected thief, later identified as Clarke, was chased for a brief time on Interstate 85 before authorities say he ditched the stolen car and ran toward a shopping center. Clarke got away, but remained wanted for theft, obstruction, fleeing and attempting to elude.

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While patrolling the area, officers and deputies spotted Clarke. A Newnan police officer twice tried to shock Clarke with his stun gun, but the stun gun didn’t slow down Clarke.

A Coweta County sheriff’s deputy saw Clarke at a nearby park and again tried to stun him. The deputy says Clarke shot at him, hitting his police cruiser. The deputy fired back, wounding Clarke.

Clarke was charged with aggravated assault last month after shooting at his father at their home, local news outlets reported. Surveillance video shows the father was also armed.

The Coweta County district attorney will decide whether anyone should be charged with a crime after the GBI finishes its inquiry.