VIDEO: Suspect Armed With AK-47 Shoots Trooper During Roadside Gun Battle
Chattanooga, TN – A Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) trooper was shot in the leg during a gun battle with a suspect armed with an AK-47 (video below).
The incident began in the 400-block of Highway 27 at approximately 7 p.m. on Jan. 9, when a THP trooper attempted to stop a Ford F150 for a traffic violation, WTVC reported.
The driver, later identified as 22-year-old Cody Seals, leaned out of the pickup and opened fire on the trooper before he stomped on the accelerator and fled the scene, according to an arrest affidavit.
Seals continued firing his AK-47 at Trooper Khalat Ghazi and Trooper Rich Thomas during the high-speed pursuit that ensued, WRCB reported.
Dashcam footage showed Trooper Thomas as he swerved to avoid being hit by the gunfire at one point.
The chased reached speeds of 97 miles per hour before Trooper Thomas used a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) maneuver in an attempt to stop the fleeing gunman.
Seals’ vehicle spun across the median and left the roadway before it finally came to a stop in the ditch, WTVC reported.
Dashcam footage showed Seals as he fired a barrage of bullets at the troopers.
"I could see he had a rifle and was turning towards me and that's when I fired my weapon," Trooper Ghazi said during Seals’ preliminary hearing on Jan. 21. “He was easily within 10 feet of me, shooting at me and trying to kill me.”
Trooper Thomas said he fired through his windshield at their attacker.
Three of the suspect’s rounds blew through the kennel holding a K9 that was traveling with one of the troopers, but the K9 was not hit during the shootout, according to WTVC.
Seals shot Trooper Ghazi in the leg before he was hit by the troopers’ gunfire and taken into custody, WRCB reported.
The suspect had a long gash on the left side of his head during his court hearing on Jan. 21.
He faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder, reckless driving, possession of methamphetamine for resale, possession of heroin for resale, possession of marijuana for resale, reckless endangerment, evading arrest, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.
He rolled his eyes at the troopers while they testified during the preliminary hearing, but said nothing on his own behalf, according to WRCB.
Investigators allegedly found one-third of a pound of marijuana on Seals when he was arrested, WTVC reported.
Various drugs, a ballistic vest, and multiple weapons were also seized from the pickup truck.
Seals’ passenger, 19-year-old Courtney Faulkner, was arrested on charges of possession for resale of heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine, WSMV reported.
The cases against both suspects have been sent to a grand jury, according to WRCB.
You can watch dashcam footage of the troopers’ encounter with Seals in the video below: