The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced in a public information release that the man shot by Smyrna police in an incident yesterday afternoon died this morning. He has been identified as Marthely Theodore, age 26, of Smyrna,
The original statement by the GBI described the events leading up to Theodore’s death as follows:
“The preliminary information indicates at about 4:30 p.m., the Cobb County Police communications center began receiving 911 calls of a man pointing a gun at passing cars near Benson Poole Road.
“The Cobb County Police Department requested the assistance of nearby Smyrna Police Department officers to locate the armed man. Smyrna Police Department officers encountered the armed man at the intersection of Benson Poole Road and Smyrna Powder Springs Road.
“Officers repeatedly asked the man to drop his firearm and the man advanced towards officers, raising his firearm towards officers.
“He was subsequently shot by the officers. The man was taken to a local hospital for treatment.”
The Smyrna Police Department requested that the GBI conduct an independent investigation. Once complete, the case file will be given to the Cobb Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.
The public information release also states:
This investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the GBI Regional Investigative Office in Conyers at (770) 388-5019. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.
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.