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War vet arrested in shooting of Ala. deputy, wounding of Tenn. officer during 2-state chase
FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) ' Authorities said Tuesday that a 23-year-old Iraq war veteran shot a deputy sheriff in the face during an overnight police stop in Alabama, and then led police on a chase into Tennessee, where an officer was wounded during a shootout with the suspect.
Madison County, Ala., Sheriff Blake Dorning said in a news conference that the shootings followed a convenience store robbery northeast of Huntsville, Ala., late Monday night.
Joseph Scott Shriver, 23, who gave a Lincoln County, Tenn., address, was charged with two counts of attempted murder, evading arrest and possession of a firearm. He has a total bond of $1.6 million.
Shriver faces additional charges in Alabama, said Kristin Helm, a spokeswoman with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Shriver served in the Army from 2008 until last April and was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, according to the U.S. Army. The former infantryman deployed to Iraq from November 2009 to August 2010. An Army human resources spokesman declined to disclose details of his separation from the service.
In Alabama, Deputy Brent Beaver was out of surgery Tuesday at Huntsville Hospital and was expected to make a full recovery. In Tennessee, Fayetteville police officer Justin Rabe was injured by shrapnel and glass during the second shooting.
Dorning said the spree began around 11:30 p.m. CST Monday when the Alabama convenience store was robbed. A short time later, Beavers spotted a vehicle matching the robbery description and pulled it over. Dorning said the driver got out and fired several shots at the deputy's car, striking him in the face.
In a statement that was carried live by WSMV-TV in Nashville, Dorning also said a vehicle of the same description was spotted by a deputy in Lincoln County, but he lost sight of it.
Lt. Joel Massey, who is in charge of investigations at the Fayetteville Police Department in Tennessee, said Rabe and Sgt. Johnny Simmons spotted the suspect in the western part of the county and tried to pull him over. A police chase ensued and the suspect shot at the two officers, striking their police car several times, authorities said.
Massey said Rabe dived into the car to avoid being shot and was injured by glass and shrapnel. Both officers were wearing bulletproof vests. Massey said Simmons returned fire at the suspect, who was armed with an assault rifle and a handgun.
Massey said the suspect drove away, but went off the road into a field and got stuck in the mud. The suspect was taken into custody without incident.
"Everybody is very lucky," Massey said of the shootings.
Although Shriver gave a Tennessee address, police said he also had a Texas driver's license.