HALL COUNTY, Ga. - The Georgia State Patrol identified a trooper Monday morning who shot and killed a suspect that tried to drown him after a weekend police chase, crash and foot pursuit.
The GSP identified the trooper as Sgt. Auston Allen, who is assigned to Post 6 in Gainesville.
According to a news release, troopers with the Georgia State Patrol, along with Gainesville Police Department and Hall County Sheriff’s Office, were conducting an Operation Rolling Thunder road check with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Saturday night.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations said 36-year-old Rodrigo Guardiola was driving an SUV with a passenger, 31-year-old Epitacio Gudino.
Investigators said Guardiola did not stop at a roadway check point on Winder Highway near Sloan Mill Road, and that is when the pursuit began.
The chase ended on Industrial Boulevard near Queen City Parkway when troopers tried to block the SUV and there was an accident.
Authorities said Guardiola and Gudino took off on foot. Sgt. Allen caught up with Guardiola at a creek, where authorities said Guardiola tried to drown the trooper.
"Very violent confrontation for about a minute, minute and half," said Captain Mark Perry with Georgia State Patrol.
According to the release, Sgt. Allen was able to fire his Taser at Guardiola with no effect, and then fired his service weapon striking Guardiola. Guardiola died from his wounds.
About 45 minutes later, officers caught Gudino.
As of Monday morning, Gudino remained in custody in Hall County on charges related to the incident.
Doctors and nurses treated and released Sgt. Allen and two other troopers from Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
The G.B.I. will conduct an independent investigation to determine what occurred during the incident.
When the investigation is complete, the results will be turned over it to the District Attorney's Office for review.