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SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A police officer and a murder suspect were both wounded in a highway shootout after the wanted man stole a patrol car and led officers on a chase until he veered off the road and crashed, police said Thursday.
The violent pursuit caused police to close a short stretch of westbound Interstate 16 around Savannah for several hours Wednesday night and authorities didn't release details until some 20 hours after the shootout.
Officers had gone to a west Savannah neighborhood searching for 21-year-old Anthony Parrish, who was wanted on murder charges in the Feb. 24 shooting death of man at a house party, said Savannah-Chatham County Police Chief Willie Lovett. Parrish and another man fled, then Parrish circled back and stole the patrol car of an officer who had gone after them on foot, Lovett said at a news conference.
Police say Parrish tried to run over an officer and veered in-and-out of oncoming traffic as he drove onto I-16, where police laid out spiked strips to puncture the car's tires. The suspect swerved to avoid them and crashed the police car beside the interstate.
Parrish got out of the car and drew a gun, police said, then fired into a pursuing officer's car, hitting her in the leg. Lovett said police returned fire and shot Parrish several times. No one else was injured.
"The suspect was hit several times, all soft tissue wounds," said Lovett, who added that Parrish had been released from the hospital by Thursday afternoon. He couldn't say how many times the suspect was shot.
The wounded officer, Rebecca Gregory, was also expected to recover. Police said the bullet struck her cellphone, which deflected some of the damage.
"She's fine," Lovett said. "She was in good spirits last night and I kidded with her a little bit."
Parrish had not yet made any court appearances Thursday and it was unknown if he had an attorney.
In addition to the slaying of 20-year-old Marray Martin last month, Parrish has been charged with hijacking a vehicle, armed robbery, aggravated assault on a police officer, attempted murder and other crimes.