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Police: Suspect dies after hit-and-run, shooting, car in lake

Police in Georgia say a rifle-toting suspect involved in a hit-and-run crash and a subsequent carjacking allegedly fired at pursuing officers before the vehicle he was in plunged into a Georgia lake and sank

BUFORD, Ga. -- A rifle-toting suspect involved in a hit-and-run crash and a subsequent carjacking Friday afternoon allegedly fired at police justbefore he drove a vehicle into a Georgialake and it sank, authorities said.

Police said officers returned fire and the man's body was later recovered from beneath the waters near the sunken vehicle in Lake Lanier, a popular recreational area northeast of the Atlanta metro area.

Officers had initially begun searching for the man after acar crashFriday afternoon involving a stolen car in Buford, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of downtown Atlanta and near the lake, Gwinnett County Police said in a statement.

The man had a rifle and carjacked another driver's vehicle after the initial wreck, according to police. Authorities said the carjacking victim was left unharmed.

“After the collision, the suspect fled the scene with a rifle,” Gwinnett police spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera said, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The newspaper reported that the man fired at responding officers as they sought to catch up with him.

The statement said officers followed the man into a lakeside park in neighboring Hall County where he drove into the lake. According to the statement, the man began to fire toward officers and a patrol car was hit several times by gunfire, but no officers were injured.

“As he drove into the lake, he began firing at our officers. Officers returned fire as the car began to sink into the water," said a tweet by Gwinnett Police on social media.

The statement said police returned fire before the car sank with the suspect still inside. A law enforcement dive team found a body in the area near the vehicle, the police statement said. The man’s identity was not immediately released late Friday.

Police said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate the case.