- Story Highlights
- Nicholas Head and Quintavia Wade were “tussling over the gun” when Head shot her, police said.
- Wade may have been caught in the middle of a lovers quarrel between Head and his girlfriend.
- So far, there have been 73 officer-involved shootings in Georgia this year.
Police have released footage from the body camera of an officer who responded to an Athens home Monday afternoon just as a man shot and killed his girlfriend’s cousin.
In the video, Athens-Clarke County police Officer Edward Herron can be heard telling dispatchers, “I shot off three rounds after he shot her.”
He’d just seen Nicholas Head shoot and kill Quintavia Wade at the residence on Summerbrook Circle, according to authorities.
Head and Wade were “tussling over the gun” at the time of the shooting, Herron said.
The officer then can be heard yelling: “Drop the gun now! Put the hands up! Put the hands up!”
Another shot was fired.
“He shot himself,” Herron said in the video. “He shot himself.”
Head, 27, was taken to a hospital with a face injury and is in the intensive care unit.
Police told Channel 2 Action News that Wade, 28, may have been caught in the middle of a lovers quarrel.
“We are all in a state of disbelief by this tragic loss,” Wade’s loved ones posted on a GoFundMe page created for the mother of three. “Quintavia will be missed by everyone who knew her and especially remembered for her free spirit and for her love of cooking hearty, soulful meals.”
Although Head’s unidentified girlfriend wasn’t at the scene of the crime, officers said they were called to a separate domestic dispute between Head and his girlfriend about 11:30 a.m. that day. Officers couldn’t find Head at that scene.
They did not find him until about 4 p.m., when they were called to the shooting scene, police said.
No officers were injured in the incident.
Herron, a five-year veteran of the police department, was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the GBI’s investigation, police said.
In a lengthy Facebook post Monday, police Chief Scott Freeman defended his officer.
“Officer Herron acted appropriately and did an outstanding job during this critical incident,” the post said. “Officer Herron's quick arrival and immediate actions potentially halted the suspect from further carnage in Columbia Brookside.
“I, and the entire Leadership Team, stand firmly with Officer Herron and the other officers that were involved in this incident.”
The GBI, which investigates use-of-force cases, is looking into the incident, which the agency is classifying as an officer-involved shooting.
“One criteria is that someone is hit and it results in death or serious bodily injury,” GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said. “The other criteria is that the officer discharged his/her weapon.”
So far, there have been 73 officer-involved shootings in Georgia this year, according to the GBI. In 2016, the agency investigated 77 officer-involved shootings.
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No other details have been released.
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