A 20-year-old Covington man was shot in the leg Thursday morning after he tried to run from and pointed an AK-47 rifle at a Georgia State Patrol trooper who was trying to pull the man over.
Charges are still pending against the suspect, Cardal Dwayne Haywood, who didn't have any outstanding warrants but is a convicted felon and cannot legally possess any type of firearm, according to John Bankhead, a spokesperson with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Haywood was pulled over around 11:20 a.m. when a trooper heading north on Salem Road near Ingles noticed a silver Mitsubishi Galant following too closely to the car ahead of it.
According to GSP spokesperson Gordy Wright, the trooper attempted to make a traffic stop, but the suspect pulled into the QuikTrip parking lot and then continued to drive behind it and another row of businesses.
The trooper, who is normally based out of an Atlanta motorcycle unit but happened to be in the area, pulled his patrol car parallel with the Galant and forced it to stop, blocking the driver's side door from opening.
The suspect exited the car on the passenger side, began fleeing on foot and reportedly pointed a gun at the trooper, according to Wright. The gun was originally described as a handgun, but was later identified as an assault rifle.
The trooper shot and hit Haywood once in the thigh. The suspect, who witnesses described as being able to stand, was taken into custody.
Nearby business owner Gloria Dyer said she heard multiple shots and ran outside to see what was happening. She said she heard a man say he was shot.
"It was scary," she said. "Nothing like that ever happened around here."
The injury was reportedly non-life threatening, but a medical helicopter flight was called and Haywood was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.
Wright said the trooper, who will be isolated and interviewed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as part of standard protocol, has been on the force for about six years and on the road as a patrol trooper for two years.
The shooting occurred only a couple hundred yards away from the Kids-R-Kids daycare center on Salem Road.
Reporter Amber Pittman contributed to this report.