WATCH: 2 suspects captured in Brookhaven with help of drone

Brookhaven police used a drone to help officers apprehend two suspects Tuesday.

Credit: Brookhaven Police Department

Credit: Brookhaven Police Department

Brookhaven police used a drone to help officers apprehend two suspects Tuesday.

Two men wanted in other states, including one suspected of a violent armed robbery in North Carolina this week, were apprehended Tuesday in Brookhaven by police who were aided by a drone, officials said.

Alton Johnson, 27, and Shyquan Collins, 30, were fleeing south after Johnson allegedly shot and robbed someone in Charlotte, Brookhaven police said in a news release. The suspects’ car was spotted by a license plate reader in Brookhaven when the men stopped at a CVS on Buford Highway.

Police responded and quickly detained Johnson, who was standing outside of the car, the release said. As Johnson was being taken into custody, a member of Brookhaven’s drone first responder unit arrived at the scene and deployed a drone to provide aerial coverage. When officers learned Collins was inside the store, they entered the CVS but he fled through a back door.

According to police, the drone pilot was able to track Collins as he ran through the woods. The pilot provided continuous updates to officers until the suspect was taken into custody.

Police later learned that Collins was wanted on an arrest warrant out of New York, the release said. A stolen gun was found in the car, police said.

Both men were taken to the DeKalb County Jail, where they were booked on multiple charges. Johnson and Collins remain in custody as they await extradition.

“This is yet another example of how we continue to implement state-of-the-art technology and training to advance our mission to make Brookhaven safe for our residents and visitors,” Brookhaven police Chief Gary Yandura said in a statement.

The drone first responder program was started in April 2021, the first of its kind in a city in the Southeast, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

While drones are used by other law enforcement agencies in certain situations, the Brookhaven program allows for the deployment of drones for first-time 911 calls. Critics have raised privacy concerns about the use of drones, but the Brookhaven city council said policy would restrict police from flying drones over areas where residents would “have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as private backyards or inside private buildings,” the AJC reported.