Within 18 hours, four metro Atlanta police officers fired their weapons in three separate encounters, killing one man and injuring three others. The officer-involved shootings — all in different jurisdictions and involving different circumstances — brought the total to 21 for the year, according to the GBI.
So far this year, the pace for shootings involving officers is down from 2018, when the GBI handled 95 cases. But last year was an exceptionally deadly year: Georgia officers were involved in 53 fatal shootings last year. In 2019, nine people have so far died in officer-involved shootings, according to the GBI, and one man was in critical condition.
The latest string of shootings involving officers began Tuesday night in northern Cherokee County in what started as a domestic dispute, according to investigators. It was the county’s first officer-involved shooting in more than two years, according to Lt. Jay Baker with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office.
Around 8:15, a Cherokee sheriff’s deputy was called to a home on Hancock Mountain Trail in Waleska, the GBI said. When the deputy arrived, Robert Mark Frady was inside the mobile home and was pointing a gun at a woman’s head, Baker said. Frady did not live in the home.
“Frady was holding a gun on his estranged wife,” a GBI spokeswoman said. “The deputy gave Frady verbal commands to drop the gun. Frady did not comply with the verbal commands and was shot by the deputy. Frady was deceased on scene.”
The woman, whose name was not released, was treated at the hospital, but her injuries were not related to the shooting, according to police. No deputies were injured.
The next officer-involved shooting in the metro area happened about 16 hours later, this time in southeast Atlanta, where it created a traffic jam and shut down several blocks of Moreland Avenue. The shooting happened at the intersection with Memorial Drive.
The incident began when the the occupants of the pickup truck gestured toward an unmarked Atlanta police SWAT vehicle. One of the officers saw a passenger in a Ford pickup truck loading a gun, police said.
An unidentified officer told the man to put the weapon down, investigators said, but the suspect pointed it at the officers. The SWAT officer fired, striking two passengers, and the suspect returned fire. The two men were in stable condition Wednesday afternoon, according to police.
No officers were injured, but the SWAT vehicle was hit by gunfire.
Sonam Vashi, who lives near the intersection, was stopped at a red light a few cars back when she heard several gunshots ring out.
“I heard what sounded like acorns hitting my car but they were actually pops of gunfire,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what was happening.”
About two hours later, and around 10 miles away, a third officer-involved shooting critically injured a man Wednesday afternoon in DeKalb County. The shooting happened near the intersection of Memorial Drive and Memorial College Avenue, according to police.
DeKalb motorcycle officers were attempting to pull over a driver who was not wearing a seat belt when two officers fired shots, DeKalb police Chief James Conroy told Channel 2 at the scene.
No officers were injured, but an SUV driver was taken to the hospital in critical condition after being shot, Conroy said. The man, whose name was not released, had outstanding warrants, according to police.
“Traffic stops are one of the most dangerous things we do … (this one) escalated into a deadly situation,” Conroy said.
— Staff writers Chelsea Prince and J.D. Capelouto contributed to this report.
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