GBI releases ID of knife-wielding man shot, killed by officers in Athens

GBI: 39th officer-involved shooting of the year occurs in Athens

The GBI has identified the man who was fatally shot by Athens-Clarke County police officers Monday after reportedly wielding a knife and acting “erratically.”

Aaron Hong, 23, was shot multiple times by officers who said he charged at them with a butcher knife, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said in a statement Tuesday.

The shooting happened 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 said in a news conference Monday afternoon.

Hong was still holding the knife when three 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.

“However, he disregarded these commands and began to advance at the officers,” Spruill said.

At some point, the man charged toward the officers. Miles said an officer fired his gun multiple times, hitting Hong.

“Hong managed to get back up and during the confrontation attempted to grab one of the officers’ weapons,” Miles said.

That’s when a second officer fired at Hong multiple 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.

The officers who fired shots are on administrative leave pending an investigation, Spruill said.

River Club markets itself as a community designed specifically for UGA students.

This is the 39th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2019.

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