GBI investigates after trooper shoots suspect

by: Diana Davis Updated:

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. —

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating after the Georgia State Patrol said a trooper shot a suspect he believed was pointing an "object" at the officer and another man.

A witness claims that object was just a cellphone.

Channel 2's Diana Davis talked to the GSP Friday about the trooper's actions.

The incident happened near Fulton Industrial Blvd. and Wendell Drive. Witness Howard King said he saw a big rig stopped in the intersection.

He says the two men who were inside the rig started running down the road when the state trooper pulled up, ordering both men to stop.

King said one of the men had something in his hand and the trooper ordered him to drop it.

King said that "something" was just a cellphone.

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"They told him, 'drop it drop it.' I guess he was dropping it and shots were fired at the same time," King said.

Terico Powel, 35, was shot in the abdomen and taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Friday, GSP spokesman Col. Mark McDounough told Davis that Sgt. G.A Shackleford saw only an "object."

"There was a motion where he pointed the object at another individual and the officer, and that's when the officer took the action to protect his safety and the life of another," McDounough said.

Powell's mother told Davis her son had surgery Friday and is expected to be OK.

Powell has been arrested at least six times, all for nonviolent crimes and cocaine possession. His mother told Davis her son did not have a gun.

Davis asked the State Patrol Friday if a gun was ever found. According to McDounough, "At this point, I don't believe a weapon has been found."

Shackleford is on paid administrative leave while the GBI investigates the incident. The GSP said he is a 10-year veteran with an exemplary record

"Trooper Shackleford is a person that has a level head. He is extremely professional. In this instance he saw suspicious activity, he saw what he perceived to be a dangerous situation between two individuals and he acted upon it," McDounough said.

Powell is facing charges including cocaine possession. The GBI would not comment on the investigation but did say in most cases, investigations take several months.