FORREST COUNTY, Miss. - A suspect stole a Forrest County deputy's patrol car Thursday night and led authorities on a high pursuit chase which ended with shots fired.
Forrest County Investigator Nick Calico said it started around 9 p.m. when a deputy was flagged down by a citizen on the 300 block of J.B. Horne Road.
Calico said, "Someone had been assaulted with a hammer, at that point the deputy exited his patrol vehicle and went to check on the victim." As the deputy called for medical assistance, the suspect jumped into the patrol car and took off with the deputy's K9 still inside.
The victim of the hammer incident is in stable condition, said Calico.
The deputy notified dispatched his vehicle had been stolen. Calico said, "Shortly after that, one of the Forrest county deputies spotted the vehicle on U.S. Highway 49 traveling Northbound."
The deputy went behind the vehicle to stop the suspect, but the suspect sped off.
The Hattiesburg Police Department, Mississippi Highway Patrol assisted the Forrest county deputies. Authorities said the suspect was speeding up and down U.S. Highway 49.
Officials laid spike strips to stop the vehicle and busted two tires, but the suspect kept driving said Calico.
"The suspect then turned on Edwards Street, continued to Brady Road, and then the suspect turned on Johnston Circle."
The suspect wrecked the patrol car in the woods near a residential neighborhood. Officials approached the vehicle with caution.
"At that point there was at least one gun shot heard from the vehicle," Calico said.
Calico said, "A shot was fired and it was determined that a shot was returned into the vehicle by an MHP officer."
When officials approached the vehicle it was determined the suspect had a self-inflicted gun shot wound, said Calico.
The suspect was transported to a local hospital and is still in critical condition as of Friday evening. The vehicle was processed by the State Crime Lab.
The incident is being handled by the Forrest County Sheriff's department and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations.
Calico said no officials or the K9 was harmed and the department appreciates the combined efforts with local authorities.