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Suspects Fire Shotgun Blast at Pike Co. Deputy, Elude Capture

PIKE COUNTY (Ken Hines/Steve Levine) -- Authorities are searching for a pair of suspects who fired at least one shotgun blast at a Highland County deputy during a Monday morning traffic stop, touching off a three-county chase.

Deputy Thomas Putnam's cruiser was struck by shotgun pellets when a passenger fired a weapon after exiting a Dodge Stratus that Putnam had pulled over on State Route 41 in Highland County at approximately 3 a.m. due to a broken tail light and a lack of license tags.

The Stratus's driver also exited the car during the traffic stop, but did not display a weapon.

The suspects drove away after the shooting, initiating a chase during which they were followed by Deputy Putnam.

The suspects eventually stopped on Fairfield Road in Pike County, at which time Putnam exited his cruiser and fired upon the Stratus with his 12 gauge shotgun, striking the vehicle's rear.

The suspects drove away after their car was struck by the deputy's gunfire, and were once again followed by Putnam, who was soon forced to abandon the chase in Adams County due to mechanical problems affecting his cruiser.

The driver of the Stratus is described as white male in his 20s, approximately 6'2" tall with a slender build and a goatee. He was wearing glasses at the time of the shooting.

Putnam described the gunman as a white male in his 40s, approximately 5'8" tall with a stocky build, short, thinning light-colored hair, and thin facial hair.

The four-door Stratus driven by the suspects is green/gray with a missing left tail light lens. It was last seen headed south on Poplar Grove Road in Adams County.

Anyone with information about the suspects and/or Stratus is encouraged to contact the Pike County Sheriff's Office at 740-947-2111, or their local law enforcement agency.
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