Shoplifting suspect shot by Lilburn police officer

Updated:

When the officer approached the man inside the store, police said the suspect got into a fight with the officer.

LILBURN, Ga. - Lilburn police confirm they are investigating an officer-involved shooting.

Police told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh they responded to a call about a possible shoplifter at a Family Dollar store along Lawrenceville Highway about 3:30 p.m.

When the officer approached the man inside the store, police said the suspect got into a fight with the officer.

That's when police said the officer pulled out a Taser and attempted to stun the man.

"The officer then took the suspect out and pulled his city issued Taser out and was going to drive stun the suspect when the suspect took the officer’s Taser from him, started to point the Taser toward the officer. The officer pulled his service weapon out and shot him twice,” said Lilburn Police Chief Bruce Hedley.

Lilburn police said the two rounds hit the man him in the chest and face. He is in critical condition, officials said.

“The officer was certainly justified in defending his own life in this situation," Hedley said.

Police believe the man is about 61 years old.

Investigators said the officer is OK, and described him as being a veteran to the force.

"He's obviously very upset this happened over a shoplifting call," Hedley said about the officer. “It's hardly worth going to this extent."

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