Law enforcement officers converged in this parking lot off Salem Road Thursday morning where a Covington man was shot after he reportedly brandished a weapon during a traffic stop by a Georgia State Patrol trooper. The man was shot once in the thigh; the trooper was not injured. The GBI is investigating the incident. -- Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith
CONYERS — A 20-year-old man was shot and wounded Thursday morning after he reportedly brandished an AK-47 at a Georgia State Patrol trooper during a traffic stop.
Gordy Wright, spokesman for the State Patrol, said the suspect has been identified as Cardal Dwayne Haywood of a Covington address.
According to Wright, the trooper attempted to make a traffic stop for following too closely on Salem Road at about 11:20 a.m.
“The vehicle pulled around in back of the (QuickTrip) and the trooper got him channeled and had the driver’s side blocked, but he bailed out on the passenger side,” said Wright. “(The suspect) turned around and brandished a weapon.”
John Bankhead, spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, identified the weapon as an AK-47.
Wright said the trooper wounded the suspect with one shot to the thigh. The suspect was taken by Lifeflight to an Atlanta area hospital where he was reportedly conscious and alert.
Bankhead said there were no outstanding warrants on the suspect; however, he has had prior problems with the law.
“He is a convicted felon so he legally cannot possess any kind of firearm,” according to Bankhead.
It was unknown Thursday afternoon how many shots were fired in the incident, Wright said, adding that the GBI investigation would determine that.
The suspect’s vehicle, a Mitsubishi Gallant, was towed to GBI headquarters. Bankhead said Thursday afternoon the car had not yet been fully searched.
The trooper is assigned to the Atlanta Motorcycle Unit and was on his way to work driving a marked car, Wright said.
“He would have picked up the motorcycle once he got to the office,” he said.
The investigation has been turned over to the GBI and the Special Investigation Division with the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
Charges against the suspect related to Thursday’s incident will be determined once the GBI concludes its investigation, according to the State Patrol.