GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.,None - Police in Gwinnett County said an officer-involved shooting Thursday afternoon was the result of increased patrols to stop burglaries in a Lilburn neighborhood.
Police said an officer patrolling Worcester Place at 2 p.m. saw two men walking down the street, so the officer approached them and tried to talk to them.
Gwinnett County Police Department Corp. Jake Smith told Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri that one of the men pulled a gun from his waistband and the officer fired, hitting the man in the shoulder.
“And this was without any kind of acknowledgement of the officer or anything like that. (He) spins around, produces a gun and it gets hung up in his sweatshirt. The officer fired at him,” said Smith.
Smith said the suspect, who is 24 years old, was not seriously injured.
Officers said the other man ran off to a waiting SUV.
According to police, the area has had 33 burglaries within a one-mile radius since Aug. 1.
Neighbor Chuck McAlhaney told Napier Viteri that six weeks ago, officers surprised someone trying to break into his home.
“They had popped the window, the screen, off this window. And that’s the second time,” said McAlhaney.
McAlhaney said someone tried to burglarize his home last year, too.
In the most recent incident, he said investigators responded to a report of a strange car in the area, but two men ran off as officers arrived. McAlhaney said police arrested a driver waiting for the men, and found a car full of stolen items from other homes they hit that same day.
“(There were) probably 20 or 30 items including big screens in the trunk and back seat,” said McAlhaney.
McAlhaney said he is grateful for the increased patrols, but said police cannot be everywhere all the time.
Smith said the officer who fired the shot will be on administrative leave pending an evaluation, which is standard procedure.