Body camera footage shows the moment a man opened the door to his home and pointed a gun at an Athens police officer.
Photo: Channel 2 Action News
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

Officer who fatally shot man brandishing gun feared for his life, Athens chief says

An Athens police officer was in fear for his life when he fatally shot a man who pointed a gun at him and his partner, the police chief said Thursday. 

Athens-Clarke County police released body camera footage that shows the moment the officer fired at the man. The GBI was called to investigate the shooting, which happened April 20.


“While the GBI must still complete its investigation, it appears to me after reviewing the officer body-cam footage that the suspect, Carlton Brooks, raised a shotgun towards our officer, Ethan Marsden,” Athens-Clarke County police Chief Cleveland Spruill said in a statement. “Officer Marsden, fearing for his life and the safety of his partner, fired his weapon, striking Mr. Brooks in the torso.”

The officers encountered Brooks, 63, while they were investigating a “peeping Tom” call in the area, AJC.com previously reported.

RELATED: GBI releases identity of man killed by police in Athens

They went to a home on Hull Road about 11:40 p.m. and spoke to a victim who identified a suspect, the department previously said. The officers went to the suspect’s home, which was also on Hull Road. 

According to the GBI, officers knocked on Brooks’ door and announced themselves. Before anyone answered the door, one of the officers saw a man inside with a weapon, the GBI said. They moved back from the door and gave repeated commands to put down the weapon.

That’s when Brooks opened the door with the gun in his hands.

“Brooks pointed the weapon towards one of the officers, who then fired twice,” the GBI said shortly after the shooting.

According to the police department, officers administered first aid to the man, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital. No officers were injured during the shooting. 

Marsden, 31, is still on paid administrative leave while the GBI investigates. 

Police said officers had been sent to Brooks’ home before but wouldn’t release the details of the previous call, according to Channel 2 Action News. 

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