A Dallas, Texas, man wanted for shooting an East Ridge (Tenn.) police officer on Sunday, Oct. 18, is deceased after a lengthy standoff and several shootouts with Georgia law enforcement officers early Monday morning.
Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk said Catoosa County 911 received a lookout at about 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, for a man later identified as 42-year-old Christopher John Kitts, who was wanted in connection with shooting the East Ridge police officer.
Law enforcement officers located his abandoned vehicle in the Lynnwood subdivision of the Rossville community at about 3 p.m. Officers from multiple Georgia and Tennessee agencies began searching for Kitts.
A K-9 unit tracked Kitts into a wooded area near Old Lakeview Drive and Black Branch Creek, where the suspect later began shooting at the pursuing officers. Law enforcement returned fire, but no one was struck during the exchange.
Kitts continued firing periodically with a high-powered rifle at the officers, Sisk said, and an aerial drone. As darkness of the evening approached Kitts began to move through the wooded area and was able to elude capture.
Sheriff Sisk said Kitts was tracked for 11 hours through a 168-acre heavily wooded area with air support, tactical teams and officers on the ground from multiple local, state and federal agencies. Sheriff Sisk said Kitts continued to fire his weapon in the direction of approaching officers as they pursued him.
Troopers with a Georgia State Patrol SWAT unit eventually gained a tactical advantage and engaged Kitts in a wooded area behind a residence on Glade Road in the Rossville community.
Kitts refused to follow lawful commands and again tried to shoot at law enforcement officers, Sisk said. Officers returned fire and Kitts was shot and succumbed to his injuries.
“Thanks to the support from multiple Georgia, Tennessee and federal law enforcement officers, we were able to prevent Kitts from eluding capture,” said Sheriff Sisk. “We appreciate everyone’s efforts to work together and prevent an already bad situation from escalating even further.”