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Police release name of wounded suspect

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

Riverdale Police released the name of the 21-year-old man, who was shot by police while allegedly in the middle of a shoe-store heist.

Mario Quentin Tucker, of Atlanta, is facing charges of burglary and aggravated assault on a police officer. He was allegedly caught behind the wheel of the getaway car in mid-May, and rammed the 1995 Ford Escort station wagon into the responding officer's patrol car.

A warrant for Tucker's arrest describes the station wagon full of allegedly stolen shoes as "a deadly weapon."

Riverdale Police released his name on Monday, at the request of the Clayton News Daily, saying they still have not been able to identify or locate three other suspects in the burglary of a Foot Locker, at 6777 Ga. State Highway 85. The police department's investigation has been inconclusive, and, Tucker isn't talking to investigators.

"We thought we might be able to put a little pressure on him. But, unfortunately, some of these suspects get a jailhouse lawyer and think they're experts," said Chief Samuel F. Patterson.

Tucker remains in the hospital, according to Clayton County courthouse records, recovering from injuries after being shot five times by the police officer who nabbed him.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the officer-involved shooting, which is standard procedure in Clayton County. According to GBI spokesman John Bankhead, the investigation is still pending.

The shooting is the only officer-involved shooting in the county so far this year, and the investigation could, reportedly, take up to six months to complete.

According to police, a large hole was smashed through the back, brick wall of the shoe store, which is a couple of blocks away from the police station. Police responded to the scene at about 5 a.m., May 13, and Officer C. Thompson tried to cut off a Ford Escort with four people inside.

"The rear passengers got out of the vehicle and ran on foot," a warrant application reports. "The third suspect that was a front seat passenger, later ran on foot after shots were fired at the vehicle. The accused was fired upon when the vehicle accelerated into Officer C. Thompson's patrol vehicle."

Police said the station wagon was loaded down with stolen shoes, and the burglary method looked like it might match some other area heists. Most alarm systems only detect movement of doors and windows, so smashing through a brick wall with a hammer doesn't set them off, according to police. The alleged Foot Locker break-in was interrupted by a passerby, who called police.

Tucker is next scheduled to appear in court for a probable cause hearing on July 22. If convicted of burglary and aggravated assault, he faces a possible maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.