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Suspect shot in Portal after chase
GBI investigating officer-involved incident
portal
GBI agents huddle with Bulloch County sheriff's personnel in front of the Dollar General store in Portal on Thursday afternoon. Investigators gave no indication that the store was involved in the shooting, but access was blocked and traffic on U.S. Highway 80 restricted during the crime scene investigation. - photo by AL HACKLE/Staff

A man fleeing law enforcement Thursday was flown to a Savannah hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to the face.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 5 Office is investigating the shooting, which involved a Bulloch County Sheriff’s deputy. This does not indicate fault on the deputy’s part, but it is policy to have GBI investigate in any officer-involved shooting.

Late Thursday, neither the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office nor GBI Special Agent-in-Charge John Durden had identified the suspect or confirmed details preceding the incident.

Bulloch County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Bill Black issued a brief press release a few hours after the shooting: “A Bulloch County deputy has been involved in an on-duty shooting incident near the Dollar General Store in Portal. No law enforcement personnel were injured in the incident. One subject is being flown to Memorial Hospital in Savannah for treatment. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is currently on the scene.”

According to traffic between law enforcement officers broadcast over the radio during the incident, Portal Police Chief Jason Sapp and Bulloch County Sheriff’s deputies were seeking a suspect who abandoned a reportedly stolen car and fled on foot near Portal Crossing Mobile Home Park and Dollar General.

Suddenly, an unidentified officer radioed “shots fired,” prompting several deputies and other law enforcement officers to respond to the area. An unknown officer told Bulloch County 911 the male suspect suffered a gunshot wound to the chin area, but neither the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office or GBI has confirmed details.

Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown was on the scene and ordered the Dollar General Store closed, but there was no indication that the store was involved.

Deputies called for Air Evac, which responded immediately and landed near the Portal Fire Department on Highway 80, a short distance from the scene. Later, before taking flight to Savannah, Air Evac requested a deputy to fly along. An unidentified officer stated over the radio that the suspect was “10-95” (arrested and in custody) and “handcuffed in front.”

Further details will be published when available. Calls to the GBI and Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office were not immediately returned Thursday.

 

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414.

 

 

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