Two burglary suspects are accused of trying to run down deputies who opened fire on the fleeing car early Friday.
About 2:30 a.m., witnesses reported seeing two black men approaching the End Rail pool hall at 3099 Napier Ave., and one of them had a gun, according to a news release from the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies responding to the burglary in progress call started searching on foot around Macon Street, which runs back beside the pool hall.
Witnesses saw a Cadillac heading toward the officers at a high rate of speed, the release stated.
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Two deputies fired multiple shots at the gold-colored Fleetwood near Grady Street, but the suspects drove off across Napier to Bailey Avenue.
As one of the front tires went flat, the men jumped out of the car near Columbus Road and got away.
They were wearing all black clothes and had what appeared to be white T-shirts on their heads, the release stated.
The suspects remain on the run, said Lt. Randy Gonzalez, a public information officer for the sheriff’s office.
The empty sedan, with both front doors open, was abandoned with the flat front tire on the driver’s side, a shattered driver’s window and a busted headlamp.
At least three bullet holes penetrated the side panels on the driver’s side.
GBI crime scene specialists gathered evidence at both locations and digitally mapped the crime scenes.
On Bailey Street, evidence markers were placed near bullets, a discarded article of black clothing and pieces of a handgun believed to have been thrown from the vehicle.
Gonzalez said they have no evidence the suspects returned fire, but the GBI is handling the investigation, which is standard procedure for a deputy-related shooting.
Before sunrise Friday, deputies and the GBI had roped off the corner of Columbus Road and Bailey Avenue, where fluid from the car’s engine leaked onto the pavement.
Stylist Shirley Woodford arrived to find her Amber’s Island of Beauty salon blocked by yellow tape.
“They told me it would be several hours before I can get to work,” said Woodford, who was waiting for a 7 a.m. client, had three more coming at 8 a.m. and another at 9. “I’ve got to get to work.”
A GBI investigator repositioned the tape to allow entry to her building about 9:30 a.m. but kept the rest of the street blocked for a few more hours.
“He said he felt sorry for me,” said Woodford, who had a full shop by 11 a.m. “I need to make some money.”
Two teams of GBI crime scene technicians spread out between the car and the corner of Macon and Grady streets, several blocks away where the shooting happened and the chase began.
Ethel Liggins could see the crime scene tape when she came out of her house just after dawn on Grady Street.
About 2:30 a.m., she heard what sounded like someone cursing at someone on her street.
“I wondered what in the world was going on and after that I heard ‘boom, boom, boom,’” Liggins said. “I had no idea it was deputies ... but I am shocked.”
Her neighbor Louis Davis slept through it all, but was anxious to find out what had happened once he stepped outside.
“I see a lot of crime scene tape, which spurs curiosity, but we slept like a baby last night,” Davis said. “It’s been quiet lately. This is very surprising to us, so we’re curious about what went on.”
The attempted break-in was the topic of conversation among the breakfast crowd gathered at Sandra & Edie’s Grill, which adjoins the pool hall at Napier and Hillcrest Boulevard.
Retired Macon police officer Charlie Bishop took a break from his grits to point out the smudges from a concrete block or brick apparently used to try to break the glass door of the restaurant.
He thought of last week’s string of smash and grab burglaries near where Napier Avenue joins Forsyth Road.
“I bet it will turn out to be the same ones,” Bishop said. “Of course, that’s my opinion, but it’s the same M.O.”
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who knows anything about the crimes to call Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 877-68-CRIME.