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Social Circle officer involved in shooting
Police tape marks off an area where a shooting involving a Social Circle Police Officer occured on Hwy. 11 Friday. - photo by Meris Lutz

A Social Circle police officer shot and wounded a man on Hwy. 11 near the Marathon gas station Friday afternoon.

Officer Samantha Rose pulled over a white pickup truck because its tags were blocked by a spare tire, according to Social Circle Police Chief Terry Sosebee. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation 78-year old Donald Lee Cleary exited his vehicle and assaulted the officer.

The confrontation escalated, and the female officer shot the male driver, whose license was issued in Alabama. 

Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Sherry Lang told the Associated Press the officer fired a single shot, wounding Cleary in the abdomen.

The driver's wife was in the passenger seat of the truck with a small dog when the shooting occurred. She was unharmed.

Cleary was taken to Atlanta Medical Center in stable condition via life flight. He was released to the Walton County jail on Sunday and charged with felony obstruction and battery of a law enforcement officer.

Officer Rose suffered minor contusions and was given several days leave. 

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has taken over the case, according to police protocol, and results of the investigation will be turned over to the local police chief and the district attorney’s office.