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Posted: October 22, 2009 6:54 p.m.

Police officer shoots suspect

Chase on I-20 ends when suspect opens fire on officers

A man was shot and killed last night after opening fire on an officer from the Covington Police Department and a trooper from Georgia State Patrol on Interstate 20.

According to CPD Public Information Officer, Lt. Wendell Wagstaff, at approximately 9 p.m. a vehicle being driven by 25-year-old Marvin Mercier of Conyers entered Newton County driving roughly 95 mph causing a trooper with GSP to attempt to initiate a traffic stop. According to Wagstaff, Mercier refused to stop his vehicle.

The vehicles sped up on I-20, exited the interstate and then got back on the interstate traveling westbound in the eastbound lane. At exit 92, GSP stopped the vehicle using a pit maneuver.

According to a press release from the CPD, the "suspect immediately opened gunfire upon the officers while still in vehicle," with a .38 revolver. The trooper and officer returned fire, fatality injuring Mercier. A passenger in the vehicle was uninjured and was questioned and released.

"This was a threat to our officers and they acted appropriately and stopped the threat," said Wagstaff.

The CPD officer, who is a law enforcement veteran, is currently on paid administrative leave pending the results of an investigation into the incident. At the request of CPD Chief Stacey Cotton, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation — considered a neutral party — will be handling the investigation.

At the time of the incident, Mercier had a warrant for his arrest out of Rockdale County for escape from work release.

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