Updated:ATLANTA — The lawyer for a man accused of shooting an Atlanta police officer told Channel 2 Action News reporter Mike Petchenik that her client was a robbery victim looking for help, not an aggressor looking to commit a crime.
A judge denied bond Monday for Atibi Thomas, 29, during a hearing at the Fulton County Jail.
VIDEO: Lawyer: Man Accused Of Shooting Officer Was 'Shaken'
Atlanta Police Department investigators told Channel 2 Action News that several men robbed Thomas, an auto parts salesman, outside a southwest Atlanta Shell station Saturday afternoon as he tried to sell them some rims.
That's when, APD officials say, off-duty police officer Keith Roach, who was in uniform, came upon the scene and tried to intervene.
Witnesses told Channel 2 Action News that Thomas attacked Roach and shot him. A passerby in a SUV rammed Thomas with the vehicle to rescue Roach, who suffered several gunshot wounds.
Thomas' lawyer, Keisha Samuels, told Petchenik her client was shaken and thought Roach was trying to ambush him.
She said he was merely trying to protect himself, paying no attention to Roach's uniform and badge.
Samuels told Petchenik that Thomas has never been convicted of a crime and recently graduated from Kennesaw State University.
APD officers arrested at least two other men for the alleged robbery and said that Roach is recovering.
Thomas is due back in court June 14.