The names of both the DeKalb County police officer and the man he shot and killed were released Tuesday. But many questions about the deadly incident remained unanswered as the GBI takes over the investigation.
The officer was Robert Olsen, according to police. The naked, unarmed man shot and killed Monday afternoon has been identified as 27-year-old Anthony Hill of Chamblee.
And Hill’s name quickly become a hashtag on social media, a platform hundreds of people have used in the hours since the shooting to express sadness, confusion and outrage.
“Something must be done about police training,” @historygal517 wrote in a Twitter post. “How could a naked unarmed man be dangerous enough to shoot? #AnthonyHill needed help. #Dekalb”
The GBI has been called in to investigate if the officer acted properly when he fatally shot the man, who appeared to be mentally ill Monday, said Cedric Alexander, director of the county public safety department.
According to Alexander, a DeKalb officer responded to an apartment complex about 1 p.m. on a “suspicious person” report in which a man, who lived in The Heights at Chamblee, was knocking on apartment doors, had disrobed and was crawling around naked.
“No weapon was found,” Alexander said. “The GBI is going to take the point on this investigation.”
The man ran at the officer and ignored demands to stop before the officer shot him twice, Alexander said. He said he did not know the distance between the officer and the man when the shots were fired, if the man was charging the officer or just running and if the officer should have deployed his Taser. That will all be part of the investigation, he said.
Olsen, a seven-year veteran of the force, is on administrative leave.
Alexander said the decision to call in the GBI was in step with a national move toward having independent agencies investigate officer-involved shootings. Alexander said it was not tied to recent unrest involving a DeKalb police investigation into an officer’s fatal shooting of a 44-year-old man who had called 911 for police help.
In that case, Alexander agreed to call in the GBI following demands by the man’s family members and protesters.
DeKalb officers receive some training in dealing with the mentally ill while in the academy before they join the force, Alexander said, but on Monday he said perhaps the training needed to be bolstered.
“That is becoming more and more apparent,” he said.
— Staff writers Ben Gray, Mike Morris, Alexis Stevens and Rodney Thrash contributed to this report.