GBI investigates fatal shooting by Acworth police

An Acworth police car in a parking lotAcworth police car (Photo: Cobb County Courier/Larry Felton Johnson licensed CC BY 4.0)

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation distributed the following public information release announcing their investigation into the fatal shooting of a burglary suspect by Acworth police officers:

Acworth, GA (March 10, 2022) – The GBI is investigating an officer involved shooting in Acworth, Cobb County, Georgia.  The Acworth Police Department asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.  One man was shot and died.  No officers were injured in the incident.

The preliminary information indicates that around 6:50 p.m., Acworth P.D. received a call for a burglary in progress off of Lake Park Ridge West, Acworth , GA.  When officers arrived, they saw Gabriel Scott Rau, age 35, in the garage of the home.  Rau left the garage, armed with two knives, charged at officers, and ignored their commands to stop.  Officers fired their weapons, hitting Rau.  Rau was taken to Kennestone Hospital where he died.

The GBI will conduct an independent investigation. Once complete, the case file will be given to the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office for review.  

This is the 23rd officer involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2022

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.