Inmate killed, officer wounded in DeKalb court shooting

A handcuffed armed robbery suspect managed to get a DeKalb County police detective’s gun and shoot him before another officer killed the prisoner Thursday night.

The police officer was shot in the leg and his wrist and was taken immediately to surgery after the 8:30 p.m. shooting on the steps leading to the building where Magistrate Court is held, DeKalb Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander said.

After the inmate, whose name was not released, fired at the officer, another DeKalb detective shot the armed prisoner.

Alexander said the reaction of the second detective “was vital. The robbery suspect could have continued to fire. Fortunately, one of our detectives was able to respond and to secure the scene by firing on the subject and making the scene safe for the public and the (wounded) officer.”

He said the suspect had a history of armed robberies, while the wounded detective is a 20-year veteran with an “impeccable record.”

“Both detectives were doing their job,” Alexander said. “They had secured two robbery suspects who have victimized this community. (The detectives) were following up on their cases. They were taking both these subjects back to the jail.

“How they were able to get possession of the officer’s weapon is still part of the investigation,” Alexander said. “He did get the officer’s weapon and he did fire that weapon.”

Alexander didn’t know if the prisoners’ hands were secured in front or in back.

Alexander said preliminary information was that the second prisoner was not involved.

“He just happened to be there,” Alexander said.

The shooting happened on the steps to the building where defendants make their first appearances before a judge. The two detectives were escorting the suspects back to the jail across the street. The shooting was just a few yards from the door, on the steps leading up to the street.

The inmate was taken to DeKalb Medical Center, while the officer was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital.

“This is a very sad and unfortunate incident,” Alexander said. “That officer has a family and we’re going to pray he gets through this tonight.”