SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV/WAVY) – A man shot by the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) Thursday afternoon after leading law enforcement on a pursuit in a stolen police vehicle is from Virginia Beach, officials say.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) identified the suspect Friday as Jacob Anthony Palmer, 29, of Virginia. The Special Agent in Charge confirmed to WAVY News that Palmer remains hospitalized following Thursday’s incident.
It unfolded around 3 p.m. that day, when an officer of the Chatham County Police Department (CCPD) responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at a local hotel. According to CCPD, the officer made contact with Palmer near Highway 204 and Interstate 95 and determined he was wanted on warrants out of Virginia.
At one point, “a scuffle ensued,” according to police. Palmer assaulted the officer then stole a marked patrol vehicle. CCPD says the officer did not fire his weapon and was not injured during the incident.
According to the GBI, now investigating the incident, Palmer fled the scene, driving in an aggressive manner and at times, in the wrong direction of traffic.
At one point, the GBI says he hit a citizen’s vehicle head on at a traffic light.
Other agencies, including GSP, joined in the pursuit, which ended in a fiery crash at the Daffin Park sign at the intersection of Victory Drive and Bee Road.
According to the GBI, after the crash, GSP troopers instructed Palmer to exit the patrol vehicle. He didn’t comply with commands and pointed a gun in GSP’s direction, the agency said, and one trooper fired his weapon, hitting Palmer.
Officials closed down the intersection for several hours Thursday evening as investigators responded. The fire at the CCPD vehicle was extinguished and towed away from the scene around 9 p.m.
The GBI says a handgun was recovered from the scene of the crash.
“I usually come down Victory Drive coming from work, and I saw the blue lights, and I took the big loop around,” said James Groman.
“It’s sad how, you know, people do things and they…act out,” Groman said, adding, “I mean, do they think about ahead of time what they’re doing? You don’t steal a police car, and it’s not going to end well.”
Savannah City Council members say this is the third police chase in the last few weeks.
“Anybody who thinks they can continue this type of negative behavior and go unpunished, they’re going to have to think of something else,” said District 3 Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan.
According to the GBI, Palmer has been charged by CCPD with aggravated assault on a police officer, obstruction, theft, felony eluding, and numerous other traffic-related charges.
The GBI will turn its investigation over to the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office for review once complete.
10 On Your Side reached out to Virginia Beach Police for information on Palmer’s local warrants. We are still awaiting a reply. Stay with WAVY for updates.