GBI investigates shooting death by Cobb police

Cobb County Police Department Crime Scene Unit vehicleCobb police Crime Scene Unit vehicle (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced in a public information release that the GBI has been asked to investigate the fatal shooting of a Smyrna man by a Cobb County police officer.

The public information release, from Public and Governmental Affairs Deputy Director Natalie Ammons, described the incident as follows:

Smyrna, GA (September 14, 2021) – On Monday, September 13, 2021, the GBI was requested by the Cobb County Police Department (CCPD) to investigate an officer involved shooting. Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 9:45 a.m., CCPD officers responded to Concord Crossing Apartments, 2935 Old Concord Road, Building 525, Smyrna, GA in reference to a 911 call of shots fired. Cobb County SWAT encountered a barricaded man in an apartment with a reported second man/victim being held hostage inside.

During the incident, an officer discharged his weapon, striking Robert Parks, age 39, of Smyrna, GA. Parks subsequently died from his injuries. Parks was armed with a gun.

The second man in the apartment was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. One officer sustained non-life threatening injuries. He was treated and released.  

The GBI will conduct an independent investigation. Upon completion, 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, as well as any time an officer discharges a firearm while on duty, 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.

https://gbi.georgia.gov/press-releases/2021-09-14/gbi-investigates-officer-involved-shooting-cobb-county
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