Police: Atlanta officer shoots, kills man who approached her with a gun

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A police officer shot and killed a man who approached her with a gun outside a southeast Atlanta apartment complex Monday, authorities said.

The fatal shooting occurred about 7:25 p.m. in the 500 block of Cassanova Street, police spokeswoman Officer TaSheena Brown told AJC.com in a statement.

A woman called 911 and reported she had been involved in a fight with her husband, identified by authorities as 28-year-old Dearian Bell. When officers got to the scene outside the Gladstone Apartments, they found the pair inside a vehicle.

The woman exited the car and told officers Bell had a handgun, according to officials. Police said they tried to get him to put it down and requested assistance from crisis negotiators.

“For approximately 12 minutes, Bell held the firearm and walked around the area ignoring verbal commands to put the gun down,” GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said Tuesday morning in a separate statement.

Before negotiators arrived, Bell approached an officer with the gun, according to authorities. The officer fired her weapon, hitting the man once, Brown said.

Officers rendered aid to Bell at the scene. He was taken to Grady Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No officers were injured during the incident. While officials have not released the name of the officer who shot Bell, Channel 2 Action News described her as a rookie.

The Atlanta incident was the second deadly shooting involving a Georgia law enforcement official in a span of about nine hours Monday. About 10:15 a.m., an Oconee County sheriff’s deputy shot a woman accused of charging toward authorities with a knife. The unidentified woman died at the scene on Creekview Court and White Oak Drive in Athens.

The GBI is investigating both deadly shootings.

The one in Atlanta is the 73rd officer-involved shooting the state agency has been asked to investigate this year, Miles said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don’t involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the state agency’s tally.