ATLANTA - A 20-year-old man suspected of shooting an Atlanta police officer in the face waived his first appearance at the Fulton County Magistrate Court on Saturday morning.
Frank Emmitt Nance was booked into the Fulton County jail overnight and charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and cocaine possession, said Atlanta Police Sgt. Greg Lyon.
Police believe Nance shot APD officer Reggie Robinson, 35, near Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard in southwest Atlanta on Friday night. Police said Robinson was responding to a drug sale call when one of the men he was attempting to question ran off.
Witness Angela Peterson said she was coming out of the West End Mall around 6:30 p.m. when she heard shots.
“He was running, just took off running, the guy, and he was still shooting as he was running,” Peterson told Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri.
Atlanta police spokesman Paul Guerrucci said sometime during the chase, Robinson was shot. Police said he was alert and conscious when they arrived at the scene.
“He was able to communicate to a degree with the responding officers, but a gunshot to the face is always serious,” Guerrucci said.
Police said Robinson graduated from the police academy in November and recently started on the Zone 4 evening watch patrol.
Channel 2 crews went to the hospital on Friday night, when dozens of officers were outside offering support to one another.
Guerrucci said on Friday night the suspected shooter had a gun on him when he was found, and police are still looking into whether there were multiple people.
Channel 2's Amanda Cook has been tracking the developments on Saturday.
Authorities told her Robinson is in stable condition at Grady Memorial Hospital. He is breathing on his own and expected to undergo surgery this weekend.
Atlanta City Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell released the following statement in part:
"As Officer Robinson continues to receive treatment at Grady Memorial Hospital, I and members of the City Council ask all residents to keep him and his family in their thoughts and prayers. We wish Officer Robinson a speedy and full recovery. While a 20 year-old suspect is in custody, this unfortunate act is yet again a painful reminder of the grave consequences of gun violence in our community," Mitchell said. "Moreover, incidents such as this remind us of the heavy and unique burden placed on our public safety personnel each and every day."
WSB-TV obtained a mugshot of Nance from his Friday night booking, but deemed it was too graphic to show. Cook said police declined any comment on whether the bruises on Nance's face are a result of any kind of altercation with officers.
Jail records indicate this is the eighth time Nance has been booked into the Fulton County jail.
Nance's next court appearance is scheduled at 9 a.m. on Jan. 25.