ATLANTA - Atlanta police say an officer was forced to open fire after a man stabbed a plainclothes Georgia State University officer with a large knife in the middle of downtown Atlanta.
Investigators said Atlanta Police officer Toni Richardson fired the gun. She was taken to the hospital for injuries to her wrist.
GSU officer Jamison Brinkley was cut in the back by a man with a butcher knife. He was also hospitalized.
It was initially APD who tried to approach the man in Woodruff Park. Several people recorded what happened next on their cellphones.
In cellphone video, a man in a red shirt could be seen swinging violently at Brinkley, with what police describe as a large butcher knife. Richardson eventually pulls out her gun and shoots him.
"The officer could have very well saved the life of (Brinkley). Again, it was a very large, 8-inch blade," said Atlanta police Lt. Paul Guerruci.
Atlanta police said officers believed the man was drinking when they approached him in Woodruff Park -- a witness who recorded the incident on his cellphone told Channel 2 Action News the man tried to get away from police.
“He was like trying to fight it and he started trotting away like he was going to run away,” said witness Jovonni Pharr. “Everybody in the crowd was telling him, ‘No don't run, don't run.’”
The man then struggled with Brinkley across the street. Police said the man struck Brinkley in the back with the knife before Richardson shot him in the torso and stopped the attack.
GSU sophomore Kieren Beckfore says the shooting has left her concerned about her safety.
"I'm still kind of shaky because I walk (in the area where the shooting happened) every day," she said.
Guerruci says Atlanta homicide detectives are investigating the case since it's an officer-involved shooting.