Teen shot by Cobb County police officer dies

Logo on former Cobb Police Department Headquarterslogo at the old Cobb Police Department Headquarters (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

A teen shot by a Cobb County police officer in unincorporated Cobb County near Austell died yesterday.

[The original headline and first line said “Man” rather than “teen.” A reader raised objections to this, and in thinking it over I agree with that reader, and have corrected it to “teen.”]

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation made the following announcement, “The subject in this OIS has been identified as Vincent Demario Truitt, 17, of Atlanta. After being transported to the hospital last night, Truitt died of his injuries this afternoon. An autopsy will be performed tomorrow by the Cobb County Medical Examiner’s Office.”

The GBI, in the orginal press release, announced that the bureau is investigating the shooting of a man on Riverside Parkway, who was unidentified at the time, by a Cobb County police officer.

The public information release follows:

Austell, GA (July 14, 2020) – On Monday, July 13, 2020, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Cobb County Police Department (CCPD) to investigate an officer involved shooting.

Preliminary information indicates that on Monday, July 13, 2020, at approximately 11:20 p.m., CCPD officers located a stolen vehicle being driven in the vicinity of 291 Riverside Parkway in Austell, Cobb County, GA. The car was reported stolen in Atlanta earlier in the day. Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle which was occupied by three males. The driver did not stop, and a chase ensued. The vehicle traveled behind a building located at 270 Riverside Parkway, which was a dead-end. When the vehicle stopped, two of the males ran and were pursued by officers. During the incident, one of the males brandished a handgun and was shot by one CCPD officer. Officers rendered medical aid on scene. The male, who is unidentified at this time, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where he is in critical condition. The two remaining males were arrested by CCPD; one 17-year-old on an outstanding arrest warrant, and one 15-year-old on charges related to the stolen vehicle. A firearm was recovered from the scene.

No officers were injured during the incident.

The GBI will continue its independent investigation. Once completed, it will be turned over to the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office for review

The GBI’s role in officer-involved shootings

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation routinely investigates the shooting of individuals by police officers, at the request of the police agency involved in the shooting.

Natalie Ammons, the Deputy Director of the GBI’s Office of Public Affairs explained to us how the system works.

Police agencies are not required to request outside investigation of officer involved shootings, and there is no formal agreement between the GBI and local police departments.

But police agencies make the request so that an independent agency does the investigation in an incident involving their own officers.

The investigations are carried out by Special Agents in a regional office within the area where the police agency is located. Cobb County, and much of the rest of metro Atlanta, is in the GBI’s Region 10, based in Conyers.

In Region 10, officer involved shootings and corruption investigations are the primary investigations Special Agents do, while in more rural areas with fewer police resources the agents handle a wider range of criminal investigations.

There is no special unit or division that conducts the investigation of officer involved shootings.

The announcements of the investigations can be found at the GBI’s press release web page.