Deputies: Suspect shot, carjacked USPS worker before high-speed chase

Officials said the incident started in Madison County and caused two schools to go on lockdown
A suspect was arrested following an assault, carjacking and high-speed chase that started in Madison County Tuesday night.
Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 4:23 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2023 at 8:39 AM EDT
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MADISON COUNTY, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - A suspect was taken into custody Wednesday morning after a high-speed chase and a shooting that started in Madison County, according to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.

Mars Hill Police responded to reports of a carjacking on Spring Drive on Tuesday. The incident forced schools in the Mars Hill area to go on lockdown. Surveillance images of the stolen vehicle showed it had a U.S. mail decal on the back.

According to the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), officers arrived at the scene and discovered that a United States Postal Service (USPS) employee had been shot and her vehicle was taken. USPIS officials said the victim, Teresa Ramsay, was taken to the hospital where she is currently in critical but stable condition.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Teresa and her family at this difficult time,” said Tommy D. Coke, inspector in charge of the Atlanta Division of the USPIS. “The United States Postal Inspection Service is steadfast in our dedication to bring those who harm our employees to justice.”

At around 7: 23 p.m. on Tuesday, Burke County deputies were advised about a high-speed chase that was in progress in McDowell County and about to enter Burke County on I-40.

Marion Police were in pursuit of the gray Jeep traveling at 90 miles per hour. During the chase, stop sticks were deployed that deflated two of the Jeep’s tires.

The driver of the Jeep then exited I-40 at Burkemont Avenue and traveled onto Williams Road and crossed over a private field.

At this time, the man driving the Jeep jumped out and ran into a wooded area.

Law enforcement set up a perimeter along the wooded area, I-40, Enola Road, Walker Road, Pete Brittian Road, and the property J. Iverson Riddle Center, after learning that the driver of the Jeep was the suspect of an assault in Madison County.

On Wednesday, Sept. 6, at around 4:24 a.m. North Carolina Highway Patrol noticed a man appearing to look into cars in the parking lot area of one of the cottages on the property of J. Iverson Riddle Center.

The man ran when troopers tried to approach him and appeared to have a gun in his hand, according to Burke County deputies. Troopers on I-40 reportedly saw the man running toward Government Drive and later spotted him in the field across from the Burke County Jail.

He was taken into custody at around 5 a.m. Wednesday and charged with attempted first-degree murder. USPIS officials later identified the suspect as Jaden Garay.

“We are deeply saddened by the recent attack on our colleague in Mars Hill.,” said USPS North Carolina District Manager Roselle Murrell. “Teresa has been a dedicated team member since she joined the Postal Service. Our thoughts are with Theresa and her family, and we are praying for a speedy recovery. We are grateful for the quick actions by first responders and the coordination by all the law enforcement agencies involved.”

A GoFundMe has been set up for Ramsay’s medical expenses.

The Marion Police Department, North Carolina Highway Patrol, McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, Morganton Department of Public Safety, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, NC Department of Adult Correction K-9 Team, US Postal Inspector, US Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, US Marshal’s Office, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Burke County EMS, Burke County County Emergency Management and Burke County Communications Center assisted in this incident.