GBI issues initial statement on its investigation of non-fatal shooting of man brandishing air rifle by Marietta police

Marietta police SUVMarietta police vehicle (Cobb County Courier/Larry Felton Johnson)

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued its initial statement on the investigation of a non-fatal shooting by Marietta police when they were called for an incident where a man was reportedly brandishing a gun. The gun turned out to be an air rifle.

[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 statement reads as follows:

Marietta, GA (October 9, 2022) – The GBI is investigating an officer involved shooting in Marietta, GA. The Marietta Police Department asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation on October 8, 2022. One man was shot and was taken to Kennestone Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and is in stable condition. No officers were injured.

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Preliminary investigation indicates that a man called 911 from 118 Francis Avenue in Marietta at approximately 10:30 p.m. and said he had been assaulted by his son. The call was disconnected twice as the caller was attempting to communicate with the 911 center. When officers arrived at the home, they saw [name redacted by the Courier], age 25, on the roof of the house with a rifle. Officers communicated with lname redacted by the Courier] and worked to de-escalate the situation, but lname redacted by the Courier] ultimately pointed the rifle at the officers. Officers fired at lname redacted by the Courier] and he was shot and incapacitated. The investigation revealed that lname redacted by the Courier] was holding an air rifle that mimics the appearance of a bolt action firearm with a telescopic sight.

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.


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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