For more than six hours Thursday morning, a northwest Atlanta neighborhood was on edge. Shots were fired. SWAT officers swarmed the area. And police urged residents to stay indoors.
Now the GBI is trying to unravel a bizarre string of events — including a Facebook Live broadcast — that started with a 911 call about 2 a.m. and ended with the shooting death of the caller just before 8:30 a.m.
EXCLUSIVE: Over the Line: Police shootings in Georgia
INTERACTIVE: Mapping officer-involved shootings
According to police, a man identified by Channel 2 Action News as Dashaun Shepard told dispatchers he heard gunshots in the 1400 block of Kennesaw Drive.
But “as (officers) were coming up to the location and knocking on the front door, shots were discharged in their direction from that house,” Atlanta police Lt. Jeff Cantin said. “They quickly backed up, took a position of cover and requested additional resources and units to the scene.”
One officer sustained minor injuries in the forehead and arm trying to take cover, police said. He was treated on the scene.
Shepard initially refused to speak with negotiators, according to police. At one point, he sent messages to police through family members.
According to Channel 2, Shepard streamed the standoff on Facebook Live, claiming he was “going to war” and that he was “about to shoot it out with these cops.”
Shepard, a breeder, had as many as a dozen dogs in the home, Channel 2 reported.
“We tried to do the best we could to bring this to a peaceful resolution by talking to the family and talking to him directly,” Cantin said.
Shepard’s sister, Asa, told Channel 2 her brother battled mental illness and that she was trying to talk him down via the Facebook Live.
But in the last hour of the standoff, more shots were fired, Cantin said. Gas also was used in an effort to get the man to surrender.
When Shepard finally exited the home, he confronted officers and refused commands to surrender, Officer Donald Hannah said.
“SWAT officers fired and it appears the suspect was struck,” he said. “Medical personnel responded and determined the suspect was deceased.”
Authorities learned Shepard may have been distraught over a recent breakup. And neighbors told Channel 2 he served in the military. He was believed to be in his 30s.
This is the 20th officer-involved shooting in Georgia this year, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said. In 2017, the GBI investigated 95 officer-involved shootings.
Know what’s really going on with crime and public safety in your metro Atlanta community, including breaking news, trial coverage, trends and the latest on unsolved cases. Sign up for the AJC’s crime and safety newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.