Family says Gwinnett police did not need to kill suspect

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BUFORD, Ga. —

Gwinnett County police shot and killed a wanted man who they said tried to run over an officer.

Police said they received a call about 38-year-old Rodney Pike shortly after 3:39 p.m. Pike, who was wanted in Forsyth County, was spotted on Pass Court in Buford. The caller warned that Pike was a drug user and would run from officers, police said.

Around 4 p.m., a group of county officers arrived to arrest Pike, who ran into a parked car, police said. They said he was not incapacitated by a Taser and struck an officer with the car.

As Pike drove toward another officer, two officers shot at him, police said. He died at the scene.

“The vehicle struck one of the officers. Another was in front of the vehicles as it began to move forward and two of the officers made the decision to shoot at that point,” Cpl. Jake Smith of the Gwinnett County Police Department said.

Pike's aunt, Sue Gray, described to Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri what she saw in front of the home.

"When he started to back out they got more in front of his windshield and started shooting at his face. ‘Bam, bam, bam, bam!" Gray said. "I was sitting there like going crazy. Oh my god they're killing him."

Pike's mother, Joan Morgan, said she arrived minutes after police shot her son.

"All I wanted to do was come down here and hold him. But he was dead already,” Morgan said.

The officer struck by the car was not seriously injured, but was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

“He didn’t hit no officer. The officers were standing there. He was backing out. How could he hit an officer?” Pike’s sister, Robin Pike, said. “There’s no reason for this to happen. There was no reason for this to happen at all.”

The county’s deadly force investigation team, which is composed of members from various jurisdictions, is looking into the shooting.

The officers involved are on standard administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.