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Fugitive In Shooting Of Winnebago County Deputy Is Arrested In Georgia

Susan Stephens
Jordan Spates, wanted in connection with the Sept. 23 shooting of a Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputy, has been arrested in Georgia and is awaiting extradition to Rockford.

Jordan D. Spates, the Rockford man wanted in connection with the Sept. 23 shooting of a Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy, has been arrested in Georgia. More arrests may be coming.

Spates, 27, is wanted for aggravated battery to a police officer with a firearm, which is a class X felony with a penalty of six to 30 years in prison.

Credit winnebagosheriff.com
Sheriff Gary Caruana

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department developed information late last week that the fugitive was in the Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville, Ga. They worked with the Rockford FBI office, which obtained a warrant for Spates's arrest.

The Atlanta FBI office, Gwinnett County Sheriff's Police, and units of the Atlanta Police Department set up surveillance and located Spates in a residence, where two SWAT teams arrested him about 12:45 p.m. Saturday, according to a news release from Sheriff Gary Caruana.

Spates is being held without bond in the Gwinnett County Jail awaiting extradition to Rockford.

"Our detectives since this happened have been working almost around the clock,” Caruana told the Rockford Register Star. “It’s great. It’s good leads (and) follow-ups around the clock, and just staying tenacious. It’s a very tenacious team."

Caruana anticipates further arrests in the near future for one or more potential accomplices in Spates's flight, according to the news release.

Winnebago County Deputy Stephen Wright was shot in the back and shoulder shortly after 1 a.m. Sept. 23 during a traffic stop in southwest Rockford. Wright had recognized a car which had eluded police twice earlier and stopped it. The driver began running from the vehicle then turned and fired at the deputy.

A massive manhunt was conducted at Klehm Arboretum, a large wooded area near the site of the shooting.

Wright is recovering at home after doctors rebuilt his shoulder, Caruana said, adding that Wright will have to go through physical therapy before returning to patrol duties.

The reward fund for information leading to the arrest of Spates stood at $15,000 at the end of last month, according to the sheriff's department. No mention was made of possible recipients of the reward in Saturday's news release.

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