An officer with the Covington (GA) Police Department is reportedly fighting for his life after being shot by a man suspected of shoplifting at a Walmart store, according to WSB-TV.
Officers had responded to a report that three men were attempting to steal bandanas.
Officers arrested two suspects, but a third—later identified as 21-year-old Aaron Demonta Fleming—fled on foot.
A Covington police sergeant and Officer Matt Cooper then chased Fleming, and during the foot pursuit Fleming reportedly shot Cooper.
Cooper was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital, where he is listed in serious condition.
"Thousands of you from all over the country have reached out to us to show your support for the Cooper family" the department said on Facebook. "Words cannot express how touched we all are. We want to let you know that Matt’s condition hasn’t changed. He is still listed in serious condition. Officer Cooper will be evaluated again this morning by a vascular surgeon to prepare for a procedure to remove the bullet. The bullet Is lodged at his Carotid artery. His vital signs are strong. Matt Cooper is strong! He is a fighter! Please continue to pray for the Cooper family."
Fleming sustained a fatal gunshot wound—his gunshot wound was reportedly self-inflicted.