Undercover federal agents working a drug operation in northwest Atlanta opened fire Tuesday after one of them was approached by a group who tried to rob him, authorities said.
A suspect was shot and taken to a hospital, according to Chad W. Cook, the assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Atlanta. Three people were arrested and one to two additional suspects are at large Wednesday.
No DEA agents were injured in the exchange of gunfire near an apartment complex on Hollywood Road near Brooks Avenue, Cook said.
“The DEA was conducting an undercover investigation in this area targeting narcotics traffickers working in and around this complex,” he said. “During the operation, one of our agents was approached by several individuals who attempted to rob him.”
Other agents working in the area immediately came to his aid, Cook said. Several people ran following the gunfire, and the gunshot victim was located inside an apartment after agents executed a search warrant.
Cook could not provide any specific information about the narcotics operation as federal charges are pending against the three in custody. It was unknown if any drugs were seized as a result.
“As a general rule, a lot of the drugs we seize now, almost all of them have fentanyl in them,” he said. “A lot of the traffickers are mixing that in. I can’t be specific in this case because I don’t have the analysis to know, but that’s a trend we are seeing throughout the United States.”
The especially potent painkiller is sometimes used to lace other drugs and can be deadly.
The apartment complex had been locked down since 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Undercover federal agents worked at the complex overnight, and residents were told to shelter in place or stay away. Many spent the night in their cars just outside the crime scene tape.
“I'm tired, I'm hungry and I worked all day,” Jamie Cook told Channel 2 Action News as she waited to be let back in her home.
Some were still waiting as the operation entered its 12th hour Wednesday morning, while others were allowed to leave their homes for work after providing their personal information to police, the news station reported.
The DEA officially cleared its part of the investigation before 9:30 a.m., special agent Chuvalo Truesdell told AJC.com.
The GBI has taken the lead in the officer-involved shooting, its 67th such investigation opened in 2019.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don't involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the GBI's tally.
— Please return to AJC.com for updates.
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