VALDOSTA -- A bizarre police chase turned violent Saturday as Lowndes County sheriff's deputies were forced to shoot a man who refused to stop in a stolen vehicle.

Capt. J.D. Yeager said Scott Bernard Sheffield, 28, was shot in the leg when he refused to abandon a truck he allegedly stole from Winn-Dixie's Madison Highway store.

The incident began at 9 a.m. when Sheffield took a Frito-Lay delivery truck that was parked in front of the store. The truck's driver was inside delivering merchandise at the time. Valdosta Police Department officers initially gave chase and were joined by deputies as the truck headed south on Madison Highway.

Yeager said Sheffield -- for reasons unknown -- drove the truck into a residential yard along the 3000 block of Madison Highway. When officers followed, Sheffield backed the truck into a county patrol car, hit a tree, ran over a portion of a front porch and slammed into the side of the residence before driving into a ditch.

Sheffield still refused to exit the vehicle, instead rocking it back and forth in an attempt to dislodge the truck from the ditch. Deputies then shot out one of the front tires, but Sheffield still would not surrender.

Yeager said deputies then emptied four cans of pepper spray into the cab of the truck in an attempt to incapacitate Sheffield.

"It didn't even faze him," he said. "He was unstoppable."

Fearing the damage he might do if he returned to the road, Lt. Robert Cuellar shot Sheffield once in the right leg, Yeager said.

Sheffield was transported to South Georgia Medical Center where he was treated and returned to Lowndes County Jail. He is charged with motor vehicle theft, aggravated assault, driving while license suspended, reckless driving and other traffic charges.

Sheffield gave investigators several aliases and refused to answer any questions, Yeager said. He was identified by his fingerprints.

Sheffield is also wanted by the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office and was recently released from a prison in Florida, Yeager said.

While blood tests are still pending, investigators believe drugs may have played a role.

As is standard procedure in law enforcement shootings, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will examine the matter. Yeager said it appears to be a routine case with appropriate action by the officer.



To contact reporter Bill Roberts, please call 244-3400, ext. 245.

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