Tara McEntyre, allegedly kidnapped from a Baltimore street corner Tuesday by her estranged husband, was shot and wounded today as she was rescued by a police officer in a rural Georgia town.
Two FBI SWAT teams, Georgia State Patrol officers and deputies
using dogs and a helicopter were searching a wooded area for her husband, Wade Morris Lucas Jr., 24, who allegedly shot her.
"They think they spotted him at least once so he's probably still in the area," said Jim Dearborn, FBI spokesman in Baltimore.
McEntyre, 22, was taken to a hospital with a hip wound and is in stable condition, said a spokeswoman for the Greene County Sheriff's Department in Greensboro, Ga., about 60 miles east of Atlanta.
"It was a flesh wound, she's doing fine," said Lt. Margaret Fitch of the sheriff's office.
McEntyre, a secretary in the city State's Attorney's Office, was believed to have been abducted by her husband after she had obtained a restraining order against him because of his violent behavior.
The spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Department, which handles all law enforcement radio communications in the area, said the couple had pulled into a Waffle House restaurant in Greensboro shortly before 5 a.m.
The woman apparently managed to slip away from the man and tell the manager of the restaurant, which is on Ga. 44 South, that she was in trouble. The manager notified the sheriff's department.
"He told me she was very upset, that she had been kidnapped," the sheriff's radio dispatcher said.
Two county officers were sent to the restaurant, she said. They apparently came under fire and radioed for additional backup.
An officer from the Greensboro police force also responded. McEntyre ran to the Greensboro officer's patrol car as her estranged husband took up a position on the roof of the restaurant, police said.
McEntyre made it inside the police car, the dispatcher said, but a shot fired from the roof struck her in the hip. Another round from a 9mm semiautomatic pistol shattered the rear window of the deputy's patrol car as it pulled away, the dispatcher said.
The Greensboro officer, who was not identified, raced to Putnam General Hospital in Eatonton, about 20 miles west of Greensboro, where McEntyre was treated for her wound.
The gunman, meanwhile, climbed to the ground, police said. He fled down nearby railroad tracks and into the woods, the dispatcher said.
"He ran that way and into some pretty thick woods," Fitch said. More than 30 agents and officers from various local and state departments were thrown into the manhunt, she said.
"We pretty much had the woods surrounded and a helicopter over head," Fitch said. "We want to flush him into the parking lot of an industrial park if we can," she said.
Dearborn said the FBI has been investigating since the abduction.
"We don't know why he drove down south," Dearborn said. "There are no relatives, no acquaintances down there that we could find."
He added the FBI knows little about the suspect's background.
About 2 p.m. yesterday, police in Jacksonville, Fla., found McEntyre's work identification card and a message written in lipstick on a mirror in the restroom of a Jacksonville gas station.
"Help me," the message said. "Call Baltimore police 911."