A 19-year-old murder suspect with a history of impersonating police officers was shot and killed by Cobb County’s SWAT team Thursday morning in a Powder Springs-area neighborhood.
Samuel David Mallard was shot by multiple officers near his home on Chaseway Circle in the Mill Chase subdivision as police tried to arrest him, authorities said.
The teenager was suspected in a string of violent crimes, including homicide, and SWAT officers converged on the neighborhood shortly before 8:30 a.m. to arrest him and search his home and car, Cobb police Chief Tim Cox told AJC.com at the scene.
The crimes had been under investigation for several days, Cox said, and that investigation led police to Mallard.
“While serving a search warrant at the location, a murder suspect was shot and killed by Cobb County police officers,” he said, adding that no officers were injured in the shooting.
Officers arrived to find Mallard driving in the 1400 block of Chaseway Circle, the GBI said. He attempted to flee police but was unsuccessful.
“Officers confronted Mallard to take him into custody and gave him verbal commands,” GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said. “During the incident, four CCPD officers fired their weapons, striking Mallard. Medical services responded, but Mallard was pronounced dead at the scene.”
The teen was wanted on charges of murder and aggravated assault, but additional details about those cases have not been released.
The chief said they are investigating other suspects, and some are already in custody, adding that the case remains “very active and fluid.”
Police are not releasing the names of the others involved.
“At this time, there are several cases that we are following up on that this individual may be tied to, so we're going to let this investigation run its course before we name him specifically to any specific case,” Cox said.
Mallard was no stranger to law enforcement, having been arrested more than a half-dozen times over the years.
On July 4, 2018, the then-17-year-old was arrested after donning a police jacket at an Austell park and giving a family false information about where they could legally shoot fireworks, AJC.com previously reported.
It was his fourth arrest for impersonating an officer, Cobb police said at the time.
The following month, Mallard was arrested again after knocking on the door of an Austell home and identifying himself as a U.S. marshal, authorities said. The incident occurred on Poplar Log Drive shortly after midnight, and some teens answered the door while their mother was in the shower.
When she went to the door to address the teen, Mallard was getting into a Ford Ranger to drive away. She called 911 to report the odd incident, and an officer caught up with Mallard while he was still in the neighborhood.
“He had an air pistol with a Blackhawk holster,” Cobb police spokeswoman Officer Sarah O’Hara said at the time. “He had everything that would make him appear to somebody who wasn’t in the job that he was a police officer or law enforcement.”
He was also wearing a vest that said “Marshall Fugitive From Justice” and a black T-shirt bearing the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office symbol, according to police.
The teen was booked into the county jail and released on bond a few hours later.
At the time, Cobb police said detectives were working with the court system to find other avenues of rehabilitation for Mallard. While he had not made any threats or posed a danger to society up until then, investigators said they hoped to avoid any future run-ins.
“We are very aware that this is a recurring problem and the discipline that’s been carried out so far has not been effective,” O’Hara said in 2018.
Mallard’s most recent Cobb County arrest occurred in July 2019, when he repeatedly crossed a police line at the scene of a Smyrna business fire despite being told not to, his arrests warrants show.
After being escorted out and instructed multiple times not to return, Mallard falsely identified himself as a news reporter and then as an employee of the company in an attempt to get back to the scene. He was charged with obstructing law enforcement, making false statements and loitering, records show.
Thursday’s shooting came hours after another man was killed in an officer-involved shooting in Gwinnett County. Albert Lee Hughes, 47, was shot by a Lawrenceville police officer after he allegedly refused to leave a Wendy’s restaurant and attacked the officer with a chair, according to the GBI.
This marks the fourth officer-involved shooting the GBI has investigated in 2020.
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