ATLANTA,None - An Atlanta police officer shot a man to death Thursday evening, police said. Family members said the man was mentally disabled and unarmed.
The officer was conducting a traffic stop at about 7:30 p.m. near Campbellton Road and Childress Drive, Atlanta police spokesman Sgt. Curtis Davenport said. Family members said 37-year-old Maurice Hampton was heading to a job interview at a nightclub before the shooting.
Authorities told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri that Hampton man pulled into the parking lot of a nearby business and fled on foot. Davenport said the officer pursued the Hampton for about 200 yards, and a fight broke out between them.
"At some point, the officer drew his service weapon and fired at least one round, fatally injuring the individual," Davenport said.
Police said the officer was likely protecting himself.
If he feels at some point that his life is in danger, typically we instruct them to produce their city-issued service weapon, said Atlanta officer Keith Meadows.
Family members said Hampton may have been scared because of a mental condition, and he was driving without a license.
My brother has a seizure disorder. Hes on medication. Hes paranoid schizophrenic, Hamptons sister Vajunda Wyatt said. He couldve thought somebodys trying to hurt him.
The officer, who is not being named, received minor injuries in the scuffle. He has been placed on a three-day administrative assignment as the shooting is investigated. Police are interviewing people who witnessed the traffic stop.