When officers encountered Thurman just before 3:30 p.m., the GBI said he was holding a gun and threatening to kill himself. The officers tried for several minutes to negotiate with Thurmond, but he “pointed a firearm that he had been holding towards officers,” the state agency said.
An officer fired at Thurmond, hitting him. Officers immediately began to administer first aid, Defense said. No officers were injured in the shooting.
Thurmond’s family members described him as a hard-working father of two children, Channel 2 Action News reported.
“He was very bright. If you were sad or down he would know how to lift you up,” Unsfored Thurmond Jr. told the news station. “That was my baby boy; I named him after my daddy.”
Thurmond’s sister, Syria Lowe, said he lived at the apartment complex with his girlfriend. She told Channel 2 that his girlfriend and two daughters were inside the apartment during the fatal encounter with police.
“It’s hard because you can’t explain to a 5-year-old that she’s not going to see her daddy,” she said.
The incident is the second police shooting the GBI has investigated in Cobb County in as many days. On Friday morning, a 41-year-old with a knife was shot and killed by a Cobb officer after police responded to a domestic dispute call at a home in east Cobb, according to the GBI.
The deadly shooting happened shortly after midnight in the 4500 block of North Landing Drive, police said. According to the GBI, Matthew Joseph Wilbanks was fatally shot after he “advanced towards officers while holding the knife.”
Saturday’s incident at the Smyrna apartment complex marks the 71st police shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate since the start of the year. Of those, 40 have been fatal.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don’t involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the GBI’s tally.
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