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Man wanted in Atlanta homicide case tries to escape authorities, crashes, dies by suicide: GSP

Troopers were called to help Atlanta police with the case.

ATLANTA — A person wanted in a homicide investigation is dead Thursday following a tense scene near a busy southeast Atlanta intersection.

Georgia State Patrol troopers were called to I-75/85 South and University Avenue to help Atlanta Police Department officers stop a driver wanted for murder, according to GSP. 

Troopers found the vehicle traveling east on University Avenue and tried to do a traffic stop, but instead, the driver pulled into a parking lot along Pryor Road. GSP said the driver then tried to rush from the parking lot and a trooper performed a PIT maneuver. The driver then crashed, according to GSP.

At this point, GSP troopers and APD officers were out in force by the intersection of Pryor Street and University Avenue. More than 10 law enforcement vehicles were in the area by the All American Package Store. U.S. Marshals and the GBI were also called to the investigation.

"As troopers and officers with APD went to conduct a felony takedown on the vehicle they heard shots come from inside the vehicle," GSP said in a statement. "At this time, troopers and officers retrieved a ballistic shield and approached the vehicle."

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11Alive's Joe Henke watched the scene unfold and witnessed law enforcement approach the silver car that crashed at the corner of the store. A man was pulled from the driver's seat. 

"They extricated the driver from the vehicle, and it appeared the driver endured a self-inflicted gunshot," GSP said, adding medical personnel at the scene pronounced him dead.

APD said the deceased person, 36-year-old Maurice K. Bradley, was wanted in a homicide that happened in the 500 block of McWilliams Road on Wednesday. Police said they were called to the scene around 2 p.m. that day to respond to a person shot. Preliminary information indicated the shooting occurred during a domestic dispute between the victim and the suspect; the victim died from her injuries, police said. 

The circumstances of how or what led up to the suspect in that case being near the package store by University and Pryor Thursday remain unclear. 

John Blackwell Jr. works at the auto parts store nearby. He said he was walking a customer across the parking lot when he saw GSP speeding behind the silver vehicle.

Blackwell said the alarming scene unfolded in a matter of seconds.

"He hit the fence and almost immediately the door came open and we heard one shot," Blackwell said about the driver of the silver vehicle.

He said he did not hear authorities exchange any fire.

"This section here sees its share of things," Blackwell said, adding that chases and accidents are not new to the area.

The south Atlanta scene is not far from where Rayshard Brooks' 2020 police-killing unfolded in the parking lot of the Wendy's at 125 University Avenue. Eight-year-old Secoriea Turner was killed a few days later in the same area.

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