While police continue to search for an unidentified man accused of shooting a police officer Friday, they say the incident is unrelated to the investigation of another officer’s assault rifle being stolen last month.
“(An AR-15 assault rifle) was stolen three weeks prior to this and information has led us to the area off of Hurt Road that may be associated with the sighting of the rifle, but it just means we’ve been in that zone patrolling more,” said Officer Mike Bowman with Cobb Police. “This has nothing to do with that case.”
The rifle, valued at $1,298, was reportedly stolen from an officer’s personal car after a suspect, who has not been arrested or identified, broke into the car.
Just after 1 a.m. Friday, 32-year-old Cobb Police Officer D.P. Rogers, who has served with the department since 2005, was shot in the chest while on patrol in the Concord Chase Apartments at 300 Hurt Road in Smyrna.
Rogers reportedly saw a man standing outside the complex and after he approached him the man fled with Rogers in pursuit, Bowman said.
During the foot chase, Rogers was blindsided and shot. His bullet-proof vest left him without serious injuries and he was released from the hospital the same day. As of Wednesday, Rogers had not returned to work.
Cobb Police Sgt. Dana Pierce said even though Rogers was wearing a protective vest, blunt force trauma from the shooting will leave the officer sore.
“In due time he will be back, but nobody is pressuring him to come back quickly,” Pierce said. “He will do that when he feels comfortable enough.”
Police are not releasing details about the type of gun used in the shooting, but Bowman said Rogers did not fire any shots back at the suspect.
Pierce confirmed police have a sketch of the suspect, but it is not being released to the public.
“The officer was able to provide a composite, which law enforcement authorities are using in an attempt to find the person or persons responsible for the shooting of Officer Rogers,” Pierce said.
The only description police have released to the public is that the suspect is a black man with a short haircut with braids, who was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and khakis.
Officers, including members of SWAT, searched the 224-unit complex door to door all day Friday but did not find the suspect.
Bowman said fliers about the incident with a description of the suspect were handed out to residents but no extra patrols have remained in the area.
“We’re still going to patrol, but no additional patrols,” he said. “We have exhausted all of our leads that we had at that location at this time.”
The Crimes Against Persons Unit is continuing to interview people in the area of the apartment complex, Pierce said.
Meantime, the owners and operators of the complex, Kansas City, Mo.-based SBV Communities, say they do have protocols in place when things like this happen but spokesman Justin Shaw was unable to release an official statement except to say, “this is pretty rare.”
Concord Chase is one of 21 complexes the company owns in nine states and one of two it owns in Georgia. The other is Mitchell’s Park Apartment Homes, also in Smyrna.
Bowman said the next step in the investigation is to continue to ask for the public’s help in identifying the suspect.
“If you know anything, have any information or see anything suspicious, call 911,” he said.
Atlanta Crime Stoppers is offering a reward up to $5,000 for the arrest and indictment of the suspect.
Anyone with information is asked to call (770) 499-3945 or (404) 577-TIPS with an anonymous tip.