The GBI is investigating after Athens police shot and killed a man who allegedly pulled a gun on officers while they were responding to a fight between neighbors.??

Officers, slain suspect ID’d after shooting in Athens

The GBI is investigating after Athens police shot and killed a man who allegedly pulled a gun on officers while they were responding to a fight between neighbors. 

The incident happened shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday at The Oaks Apartments off Gaines School Road, the agency said in a news release. 

Officers were sent to investigate a noise complaint call between two neighbors, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department said in a statement.


When Sgt. Matt Smith and Officer Paul Harris arrived, they were told one neighbor had threatened to shoot the other, police said. 

A little while later, the officers found the man and tried to question him. The man, identified by the GBI as 45-year-old Nan Zhao, ignored the officers’ commands and took cover behind a dumpster, according to the GBI. He then pulled out a handgun and fired at the officers, officials said. 

Both officers returned fire and the man was hit. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died, police said. 

Smith has been with the Athens police department for 14 years and Harris has been with the agency for seven months, officials said. Both were placed on administrative leave, officials said. 

This is the 72nd officer-involved shooting investigation the GBI has opened in 2019, and the sixth in Athens. 

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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