Man shot dead during struggle over officer’s gun in Buckhead restaurant, cops say

Atlanta police are investigating a shooting near the Roasters Rotisserie restaurant Wednesday afternoon.

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Atlanta police are investigating a shooting near the Roasters Rotisserie restaurant Wednesday afternoon.

Incident took place at Roasters Rotisserie on Lenox Road

An off-duty Atlanta police officer shot and killed a Lithonia man Wednesday afternoon at a popular Buckhead restaurant during an “extended struggle” over the officer’s gun that lasted several minutes, officials said.

The GBI is investigating the deadly shooting, which occurred shortly before 3 p.m. at the Roasters Rotisserie restaurant at 2770 Lenox Road in northeast Atlanta.

Police confirmed that the officer, whose identity was not released, was in uniform and wearing his body camera while working an approved job at a nearby business when he was called to the restaurant in the Lenox Village shopping center.

According to the GBI, Rogers Kyaruzi, 30, had been “expressing odd behavior prior to the incident and had followed a patron into Roasters where Kyaruzi was causing a disturbance.” The officer tried to get Kyaruzi to step outside, the GBI said.

“There was some discussion going on and then immediately there was a struggle,” Atlanta police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said from the scene. “The struggle involved the officers’ gun; the struggle went on for several minutes.”

That struggle ended with the officer shooting Kyaruzi, who died after being taken to a hospital, Hampton said. One witness told Channel 2 Action News the man was shot multiple times. He could be seen in video being treated by first responders while en route to an ambulance.

The officer, who was not injured, was taken to APD headquarters for interviews.

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Wednesday’s incident was the 45th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate this year. Twenty-three of those Georgia shootings have been fatal.

The Atlanta Police Department has been involved in six so far this year, four of which have been deadly. It’s the third officer-involved shooting for the department since April 16.

In January, the Atlanta City Council voted to establish a task force focused on curbing crime in Buckhead. The upscale community has a lower crime rate than much of the rest of the city and police officials said Zone 2, which includes Buckhead, saw one of the steepest declines in crime last year of all six police zones in Atlanta.

Crime was, however, one of the driving forces behind Buckhead’s cityhood push earlier this year.

The new task force is charged with developing a comprehensive plan to deter crime in the area, working to get buy-ins from businesses, neighborhood associations, residents in apartments and condos and other stakeholders like churches and nonprofits.

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.

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— Staff writer J.D. Capelouto contributed to this article.