GBI investigates Cobb police non-fatal shooting of child trafficking suspect in Smyrna

Cobb County Police carCobb County police car (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

At the request of the Cobb County Police Department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the non-fatal shooting of a child-trafficking suspect by a Cobb officer at a Red Roof Inn in Smyrna.

[The Cobb County Courier has a policy of withholding or redacting the name of suspects unless and until the person is convicted in a court of law or enters a plea of guilty. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty, and the internet has no effective way of removing reports of arrest if the person is exonerated. We do make exceptions in high-profile cases or charges against public officials where exoneration is likely to be as widely publicized as the initial arrest]

The GBI described the incident as follows:

Smyrna, GA (November 3, 2021) – On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, the GBI was requested by the Cobb County Police Department (CCPD) to investigate an officer-involved shooting. The CCPD Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit was conducting a child trafficking investigation that led them to the possible location of a victim at the Red Roof Inn, 1190 Winchester Parkway in Smyrna, Cobb County, GA. At approximately 7:00 p.m., investigators were located outside of a hotel room at the Red Roof Inn. Investigators knocked on the door and a young female opened the door. Inside the room were two young females with [name redacted by the Cobb County Courier], age 29, of Williamson, GA. When [name redacted by the Cobb County Courier] saw the investigators, he pointed a handgun at the officers and ran out the room and into the parking lot. In the parking lot, he pointed the handgun at a uniformed CCPD officer, at which time, the officer shot [name redacted by the Cobb County Courier] once with his issued rifle. [name redacted by the Cobb County Courier] was treated on the scene and transported to Kennesaw Hospital. [name redacted by the Cobb County Courier] is reported to be in critical condition but is expected to survive.

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No officers were injured during the incident. The two females were successfully rescued and are being assisted via ICAC resources by CCPD. CCPD will also continue to conduct the trafficking investigation.

The GBI will conduct an independent investigation. Once complete, it will be turned over to the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office for review.

This is the 82nd officer-involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2021.

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.

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