Federal and local authorities are continuing their search for a gunman who escaped after a shootout with a security officer on the perimeter of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant site near Spring City, Tenn., overnight.

The suspect fired multiple rounds at a Tennessee Valley Authority security officer who was on a routine patrol near the banks of Chickamauga Lake about 2 a.m. Sunday, TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said.

The officer encountered the suspect in a clearly marked restricted area several hundred yards from the site’s protected area, which houses the reactor and power production facilities, but still within the plant property.

When the officer confronted the person, “The individual fired on the officer, striking the officer’s vehicle,” said Hopson. “The officer returned fire, and as the officer was calling for backup, the individual fled the scene.