Athens-Clarke County police on Tuesday released the body camera footage of the moment two officers shot a 23-year-old man holding a butcher knife and drenched in his own blood.
The video appears to show Aaron Hong, 23, clutching the knife while officers repeatedly shout for him to drop it.
Hong shouts “just do it” to the officers while walking toward them.
The fatal shooting happened Monday at 1005 Macon Highway near the River Club apartment complex, which is located just south of the Athens bypass.
Officers were sent to the location just before 12:30 p.m. after receiving multiple calls about a man acting “erratically” holding a knife and covered in blood, Athens-Clarke County police Chief Cleveland Spruill previously said.
Three officers responded to the scene. Two officers, David Harrison and Charles Bidinger, fired at Hong during the incident.
Hong was still holding the knife when the Athens officers encountered him, Spruill said. The GBI said Hong was “using the knife in an aggressive manner and appeared to be injured himself.” Investigators said the blood Hong was drenched in was his own.
Spruill said the officers tried multiple times to get Hong to drop the knife. In the body camera video, an officer is heard saying: “Put the knife down. Sir, please, put the knife down.”
“However, he disregarded these commands and began to advance at the officers,” Spruill said.
In the video, Hong charged at Harrison, still holding the knife. Harrison shouted “no, no, no,” before firing at Hong five times.
Hong fell to the ground, but got back up and charged at Harrison again. The video showed him grab the officer and put him in what appears to be a headlock. Hong wrestled Harrison to the ground. Then, Bidinger fired at him three times.
Hong was treated by paramedics, but ultimately died of his injuries.
One officer suffered a minor injury and was treated at the scene, Spruill said.
Harrison has been with the police department for seven years, Athens officials said. This was Bidinger’s first year with the department. Both are on administrative leave pending an investigation, Spruill said.
Spruill told Channel 2 Action News one of the officers was involved in another shooting in March. The officer was cleared in that case.
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