GBI identifies man shot, killed by cops outside Cobb apartment complex

A man who randomly fired several shots outside a Cobb County apartment complex was shot and killed by police Friday morning when he made “a deadly threat” to officers, police said.

Several people called 911 before 6 a.m. to report the gunfire outside the Walton on the Chattahoochee apartments in the 6600 block of Akers Mill Road. 

Witnesses said the man was firing at vehicles in the complex and pointing a gun at them, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said.

Authorities have not confirmed the number of shots, but Cobb County police spokeswoman Officer Sarah O’Hara told AJC.com that responding officers found damage to property, buildings and vehicles. 

“Because of the severity and the number of shots-fired calls that came in, obviously this area was flooded with officers,” O’Hara told AJC.com.

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Miles said officers located the suspect, identified as Matthew Chambers, 34, at a nearby bus stop and confronted him.

“When they went out with him, they had an exchange. During that time a deadly threat was presented. And unfortunately they had to draw their service weapons and fire upon him,” O’Hara said.

Chambers was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

No officers were injured, Miles said.

Akers Mill Road between Powers Ferry Road and Cumberland Boulevard was closed at 6:40 a.m. and did not reopen until the investigation wrapped up seven hours later. 

Cobb County police investigators gather Friday morning on the scene of a shooting at an Akers Mill Road apartment complex. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Investigators are working to determine the motive behind the gunfire and the man’s connection to the apartment complex, O’Hara said.

Officer-involved shootings in Georgia this year are on track to pass the 88 recorded in 2017, according to the GBI. The Cobb shooting is the 71st such investigation the agency has opened in 2018. 

RELATED: Georgia on pace to double deadly officer-involved shootings in 2018

ALSO: Experts say weapons, changing attitudes lead to more officer shootings

OVER THE LINE: An investigation into police shootings in Georgia

Fiona Simpson, a resident at Walton on the Chattahoochee, told AJC.com she woke up to police sirens and the sound of a helicopter overhead before receiving an alarming text alert from apartment management.

“Shots have been fired in the parking lot,” the 7:15 a.m. alert said. “The perpetrator is in custody.”

Simpson said a follow-up email instructed all residents to stay inside. People trying to leave for work were asked to return to their apartments.

Cobb police look for evidence after an officer-involved shooting at the Walton on the Chattahoochee apartment complex Friday morning. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

“To be honest, it’s a bit frightening and not something I would have expected at Walton,” she said. “The complex is pretty quiet, and pretty much everyone knows their neighbors and looks out for each other. It’s a relatively young, diverse neighborhood and people are very social, so everyone has been messaging each other to check in and make sure people are OK.”

Management sent another text at 9 a.m., telling residents they could leave the complex. 

Bus service was impacted by the police activity, according to the county. CobbLinc routes 50 and 108 were detoured while the road was shut down.

 
A Cobb police officer stands behind a ballistics shield and near a handgun outside the Walton on the Chattahoochee apartment complex on Akers Mill Road, where police were involved in a shooting with a suspect. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

It is the second officer-involved shooting in metro Atlanta this week after a man was shot by a Gwinnett officer near Lawrenceville after pointing a gun at police.

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