A Savannah man faces multiple charges after losing control of a stolen pickup truck and firing a gun at two officers trying to apprehend him this morning.
Corey Nicholas Baker, 19, was taken into custody at 4:45 a.m. by a Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police K9 officer following a two-hour search by officers from all five precincts, K9, and Aviation Patrol in police helicopter Eagle One.
He has been charged with two counts of attempted murder of a police officer, two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime. Other charges could be pending.
An Islands Precinct officer on patrol in the Victory Square shopping center first saw a white 2014 Chevrolet pickup truck stolen moments earlier, speed south on Skidaway Road and began to follow it.
After attempting a traffic stop, the officer reported the truck speeding up and turning onto East 52 street, eventually stopping in a yard on Oakland Court. When the officer ordered the driver out of the truck, he turned, elbowed the officer in his nose, and ran on foot.
The officer pursued the suspect who turned and fired three shots at him. Moments later, he fired two shots at a second officer a few blocks away.
Police saturated the area between Truman Parkway and Skidaway, and from 52nd Street to East 50th Street and were beginning a yard-to-yard search when K9 Faust alerted on a shed behind a house on Eastgate Drive and his handler ordered Baker to the ground.
A search of the area after the arrest led police to recovery of a handgun that was reportedly in the pickup when it was left unlocked and with the keys in it at the I-Hop restaurant on Victory Drive.
Neither officer returned fire during the pursuit because of the proximity to residences. The first officer was treated for an injury to his face on the scene by Southside Fire EMS.
A stolen vehicle leads to a dangerous search for a suspect who reportedly fired at police who were in hot pursuit. Police say the two hour search in Savannah started with a traffic stop that quickly turned violent.
Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Officers called in air support Monday morning to help search for the suspect.
Lt. Kenny Patton, Incident Commander, says it started with a report of a stolen pick-up truck that was taken from the IHOP restaurant on East Victory Drive. Just before 3 a.m., an officer spotted that truck near East 52nd Street, just a few blocks west of Skidaway Road.
“The suspect and the officer got into a little altercation, the suspect ended up fleeing from the officer. The officer gave foot pursuit and sometime during that pursuit, the suspect fired a couple rounds at the officer.” Patton said.
No officers were hit, and the search ended around 5 a.m.
“I think hats should go off to them for not firing wildly to try to apprehend a person who was firing at them.”
He adds that not a single bullet was fired by officers as they combed the quiet residential area for their suspect. It was a K-9 officer with it’s nose to the ground who found the suspect in a shed behind a residence on Eastgate Drive.
While the manhunt is over investigators are started to build their case against the suspect. Evidence could include video from the body cameras of the officers in pursuit. ” I’m sure our officers that were out here did have their body cameras on so a lot of this will be evidence and have to be poured through by our investigators to try to determine if we need anything for court and any type of prosecution.”
The search came to the best conclusion as the officers in the line of fire survived the encounter. ” He gets to go home, we all do and even the suspect and that’s one of the things that we try to do you know rather than rush out with guns blazing and try to flush somebody out because we know he took a shot at us, would put a lot more people’s lives in jeopardy.”
The suspect is facing an array of charges and Patton says it feels good to have that person off Savannah’s streets. ” Anybody that’s foolish enough to take a shot at a police officer deserves to be behind bars for a long time.”
The name of the suspect has not been released at this time.