Man killed by police responding to deadly drive-in shooting
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —
Police have tied together a strange chain of events, including a deadly shooting at an Atlanta drive-in and a pedestrian struck and killed by a DeKalb County police cruiser.
Officers were called to a shooting at the Starlight Six drive-in theater on Moreland Avenue early Tuesday.
Police said Mitt Lenix, 28, of Jonesboro, was having car trouble in the area, and approached a man to ask for help. The man, Quentric Williams pulled out a gun, shot Lenix and raced off, authorities said.
Police followed Williams to Gwinnett County where he crashed on Lilburn-Stone Mountain Road and escaped. Police were still looking for him on Tuesday night.
At the same time in Stone Mountain, an officer responding to the call struck and killed a pedestrian crossing the road on Memorial Drive near West Mountain Street.
Witnesses told Channel 2 Action News that 27-year-old Clifton Hightower was cutting across the street toward a gas station when he was struck.
“We saw a dude coming across the street. Saw the police coming up the street, doing every bit 70 or 80 mph. No lights. No sirens, and, boom,” witness Jerrard Bullock said.
A police spokeswoman later told Channel 2’s Erica Byfield that the officer’s lights may have been on, but a traffic specialist was investigating.
Hightower’s mother, Anna Maria Davis, told Byfield the officers came to their home with the news a few hours later.
“They said, ‘Mrs. Davis your son has died, your son got killed last night,’” Davis said. “I was like, ‘No, we aren’t talking about my son, no you aren’t talking about my son. My son didn’t get killed last night.'”
Davis said that Hightower was headed to his sister’s house to baby-sit when he was struck.
“We definitely need to know something, why it happened, why his lights weren’t on, why 80 mph and why you took my son’s life. That’s what he took," Hightower’s father, Michael Davis said.
Officials told Byfield that Officer Jason Cooper was driving the cruiser and is now on administrative leave.