Local News

August 18, 2013

Driver who killed himself identified

The man who committed suicide Saturday night after leading officers in a high-speed chase in a stolen patrol car from Chattanooga to Whitfield County has been identified as Antonio Sheffield, 36, of Gulfport, Miss., according to Whitfield County Coroner Bobby Dixon on Sunday.

Sheffield is accused of attempting to rob Tiffany Nails, at 5509 Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, at 5:39 p.m. Saturday, according to a news release from the Chattanooga Police Department.

“Shortly after, the officers made contact with” Sheffield at the Economy Inn, 5505 Brainerd Road, according to the release. Sheffield began shooting at the officers, who returned fire. He fled on foot and hit an officer in the head with a handgun, cutting the officer’s forehead, before getting into the patrol car, the release states.

Sheffield led officers on a high-speed chase in the stolen patrol car southbound on I-75 where several attempts to stop him using stop sticks were unsuccessful. At times the chase reached speeds of 120 mph.

Sheffield got off the interstate at Exit 328 near Ga. Connector 3 and crashed through a fence at Rooms To Go before stopping on North Dug Gap Road near Marketing Alliance around 7:30 p.m. when officers with the Georgia State Patrol and Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office boxed him in.

Sheffield then shot himself in the head, according to the news release. The injured officer was treated at a hospital and released.

Nathan Hartwig, spokesman for the Chattanooga Police Department, would not say how Sheffield had access to the patrol car.

“We don’t get into details,” he said. “We just give the basic facts. This is still an ongoing investigation.”

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