June 13, 2020 - Atlanta - Protestors block University Avenue outside the Wendy's where a 27-year-old man was shot and killed by Atlanta police Friday evening. (Photo: Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Photo: Steve Schaefer/Steve Schaefer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution
Photo: Steve Schaefer/Steve Schaefer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Man dies after being shot by Atlanta police at Wendy’s drive-thru

A 27-year-old man was shot and killed by Atlanta police Friday evening during a struggle in a Wendy’s drive-thru line that was captured on video.

By Saturday afternoon, Police Chief Erika Shields had resigned her position and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for the officer who fired the fatal shots to be terminated. 

RELATED: Erika Shields steps aside after 3½ years as APD chief

The incident began about 10:30 p.m. outside the fast food chain on University Avenue, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said. 

Officers were called to the restaurant after receiving a complaint about a man asleep in his vehicle, which forced other customers to go around his car to get their food at the window. The man, Atlanta resident Rayshard Brooks, was given a field sobriety test, which he reportedly failed, according to the GBI.

Rayshard Brooks and his family
Photo: Channel 2 Action News


Atlanta protests: Live updates from response to Rayshard Brooks shooting

“After failing the test, the officers attempted to place the male subject into custody,” Miles said. “During the arrest, the male subject resisted and a struggle ensued. The officer deployed a Taser.”


 

According to police, Brooks managed to take the Taser away from the officer before being shot. He was taken to the hospital where he later died, Miles said.

Cellphone video captured by a Wendy's customer appears to show two officers struggling with Brooks in the parking lot. He appeared to be running away from them when he was fatally shot.

Editor’s note: This video contains graphic content. It does not show the shooting.
Some details in the fatal shooting are not confirmed yet, and the AJC will be updating this story.

GBI Director Vic Reynolds said surveillance footage from the Wendy’s appeared to show Brooks turn toward the police and attempt to fire the Taser as he ran away. 

That’s when the officer chasing Brooks pulled out his gun and shot him, authorities said.

“While there may be debate as to whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force, I firmly believe that there is a clear distinction between what you can do and what you should do,” Bottoms said Saturday afternoon. “I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer."

Brooks’ death comes after weeks of national protests over officers’ use of force, particularly against people of color.

Complete coverage: Atlanta protests

The nationwide demonstrations began in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. Floyd, a black man, was pinned under the knee of officer Derek Chauvin for nearly nine minutes. 

By Saturday morning, a group of protesters had gathered outside the Wendy’s where Brooks was fatally shot.


 

John Wade, the leader of the demonstration, called the parking lot “the new ground zero.”

“Another man was taken right at this spot,” he said. 

Protestors block University Avenue and the on-ramp to I-75 near the Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by Atlanta police. Steve Schaefer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution
Photo: Steve Schaefer/Steve Schaefer for the Atlanta J

Some protesters also started a makeshift memorial outside the fast food restaurant, leaving behind flowers and cards with Brooks’ name on them.

June 13, 2020 - Protesters leave flowers outside the Atlanta Wendy's where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed during a struggle with police. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal Constitution
Photo: Ben Gray/ Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journa

Additional details surrounding Friday night’s shooting are unclear, and neither of the officers’ names has been released. The GBI said one of the officers involved in the incident suffered minor injuries. He was treated at the hospital and released. 

The GBI also said it is aware of the cellphone video circulating online and reviewing the footage as part of its investigation. 


 

Brooks’ death marked the 48th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate this year. 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. 

In other news: 

The Georgia State University graduate filmmaker said she was filming protesters near Centennial Olympic Park when she was shot.

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