1 dead in officer-involved shooting near downtown Atlanta hotel

1 dead in officer-involved shooting near downtown Atlanta hotel

Witnesses described chaos at the scene of an officer-involved shooting near a downtown Atlanta hotel Monday night, when more than a dozen gunshots erupted while police were taking control of the area.

One suspect was killed and another arrested, police said.

“Gun shots were coming from every angle,” Bryceton O’Neal told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Cops were running behind cars, taking cover.”

O’Neal said he was driving a co-worker home after dinner when a multitude of police cruisers passed him on Spring Street and came screeching to a halt by the Aloft hotel. He said as he pulled over he saw dozens of officers, many carrying assault rifles and shotguns, surrounding the area.

After a number of officers had jumped over a chain-link fence into what appeared to be the hotel parking lot, gun shots erupted and the police returned fire, and a number of officers rushed the building containing the hotel, O’Neal said.

“Right after I clicked record on my phone, the gunshots started on my left,” he said.

There was about a 15-second pause in gunfire and the shots erupted again and O’Neal saw a man fall. He said he wasn’t sure if it was the person police were pursuing.

Atlanta police Maj. Adam Lee said the confrontation began after a patrol officer met a red Jeep traveling the wrong way down West Peachtree Street. When he tried to make a traffic stop, the Jeep driver fled.

After the Jeep crashed, the driver and the passenger tried to flee on foot, Lee said. The driver was captured right away but passenger fled behind the hotel where he was killed, Lee said.

JohnPaul Wegener said he and his friends were outside the Scales 925 restaurant when they witnessed the crash outside the hotel and saw police cruisers converge on the scene.

“We see this car blow right through the intersection and it smacked this (hotel shuttle) bus,” he said. “There were police cars everywhere.

“We started to hear gunshots — pow, pow, pow— it was pretty scary.”

Following the shooting, police blocked off several surrounding streets. The Atlanta police SWAT team also responded.

A .45-caliber pistol with several spent shell casings was found by the passenger’s body, Lee said. Three police officers were involved in shooting the man, who had not yet been identified, Lee said.

A pistol was found just outside the Jeep and another pistol was found just inside the Jeep along with a duffle bag full of marijuana, Lee said.

No officers were injured.

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