GBI to investigate fatal shooting of suspect during Cobb MCS operation

Cobb Sheriff's Office vehicle at Cobb government office in article about evictions

The Georgia Bureau Investigation is investigating a fatal shooting by Cobb officers in Marietta during an operation of the Marietta, Cobb, and Smyrna Organized Crime Unit (MCS).

The GBI issued the following statement:

The GBI is investigating an officer involved shooting in Marietta, Georgia. The Cobb County Police Department asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation on November 15, 2023. One man was shot and killed. No law enforcement officers were injured in this incident.  

The preliminary information indicates that, at around 5:30 p.m., Cobb County Police Department officers and Cobb County Sheriff’s Office deputies were assisting other law enforcement agencies with an ongoing drug investigation. Officers conducted a traffic stop on a man, later identified as Peter Luna-Lopez, age 26, of Marietta, GA, who was a subject of the drug investigation, on South Cobb Drive near Windy Hill Road. During the traffic stop, Lopez sped away. A police officer used her patrol car to force Lopez’s truck off the road. Officers approached Lopez’s truck. During the incident, officers shot into the truck, hitting Lopez. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Lopez was found with a handgun. 

Lopez’s body will be taken to the Cobb County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.  

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 91st officer involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2023. 

Earlier public information release from the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office

Last night the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office issued a public information release about the shooting, stating that the operation in which Lopez was shot was carried out by members of the Marietta, Cobb, and Smyrna Organized Crime Unit (MCS). The MCS includes officers from multiple agencies and is overseen by the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office.

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.