GBI issues statement on their investigation into the fatal shooting of Tavis Carithers of Mableton by Cobb County Police

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

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued the following statement about their investigation of the fatal shooting of Tavis Latimore Carithers, of Hicks Road in Mableton, by officers of the Cobb County Police Department:

Mableton, GA (May 20, 2022) – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating an officer involved shooting in Cobb County, Georgia. The Cobb County Police Department asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation on May 19, 2022. One man has died. No officers were injured during the incident.

Preliminary information indicates that at 8:29 p.m., a resident of 4470 Hicks Road, Mableton, Cobb County, Georgia, placed a 911 call about a suicidal man with a gun. When police responded to the home, they were told that the man, identified as Tavis Latimore Carithers, 23, of Mableton, had been shooting a gun at family members. Officers attempted to speak with Carithers and at some point during the incident, Carithers fired his gun at officers. Officers returned fire and Carithers retreated into the home. Officers attempted to call Carithers out of the home and at some point, Carithers left the house and stepped into the garage. Once again, Carithers fired his gun at officers. Officers returned fire, hitting Carithers. Carithers died on scene.

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.

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This is the 51st 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.

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