GBI: Police shoot woman after she fired on officers in Clayton County, Atlanta

Clayton County Officer Demika Lloyd wounded in 1st shooting

A multijurisdictional search ended in gunfire Wednesday night in southeast Atlanta, critically injuring a woman accused of gunning down a police officer in the backyard of a Clayton County home.

Clayton County police Officer Demika Lloyd was shot twice while responding to calls about a suicidal person at a home in the 7800 block of Newbury Drive. The suspect, identified by Clayton police as Aiyanah Pryor, 25, was later shot by Atlanta police officers who tracked her vehicle to Polar Rock Road near South Bend Park, according to the GBI.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Pryor was taken to Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition but was considered stable early Thursday. Lloyd underwent surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital and was in serious condition but also considered stable.

“What you see tonight is a demonstration of law enforcement’s dedication across this region, and the quality of the men and women that wear the badge for their respective communities,” interim Atlanta police Chief Darin Schierbaum said during a joint news conference outside Grady. “I’m proud of the actions of the Atlanta Police Department this morning as they acted on behalf of their communities.”

Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal Constitution

According to police in Clayton County, emergency dispatchers received three calls from Pryor’s home between 9:40 p.m. and 11 p.m. At least one call was made by the woman’s mother, and the final call came from Pryor herself, police said in a news release.

Pryor was armed when Lloyd arrived at the Newbury Drive home and made contact with her a short time later, Clayton police Chief Kevin Roberts said.

“Immediately upon that contact, another subject in the house called our dispatch back and advised that she heard multiple gunshots and that our officer was down behind the residence,” Roberts told reporters during the news conference.

Lloyd was found wounded when backup arrived, he said. She has worked for the police department for less than two years and is assigned to the night shift. Roberts praised her work and said “she will be successful moving forward, and we’re praying for her good recovery.”

Credit: Clayton County Police Department

Credit: Clayton County Police Department

After the initial shooting, Pryor was believed to have traveled north on I-75 in a black Jeep, the Clayton chief said. A lookout was issued, and the Jeep was flagged by a license plate reader a short time later in the area of Langford Parkway.

Traffic officers with APD’s Zone 3 went to apprehend Pryor and found her vehicle near a school on Polar Rock Road around 11:50 p.m., Atlanta deputy police chief Charles Hampton said. As they approached, they gave the woman commands to show her hands.

“The female suspect fired at least one shot at the officer, and then our officers returned fire, striking the female multiple times,” Hampton said. “None of our officers were injured.”

Police consider Pryor’s injuries to be life-threatening. Her brother, Marcus Martin, told Channel 2 Action News he doesn’t think authorities handled the mental crisis well.

“You don’t know what this woman is going through, and you just came in and jumped on her in her house,” Martin told the news station. “I’m not understanding.”

Schierbaum said he is praying for the recovery of both women and commended his officers who “acted decisively and bravely” to engage Pryor “before she could harm again.”

The GBI was asked to conduct a separate investigation into the Polar Rock Road shooting and confirmed APD’s account of events in a Thursday afternoon news release. It is the state agency’s 71st officer-involved shooting to investigate this year.

Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal Constitution

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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