ATLANTA — An Atlanta police officer is still hospitalized at Grady Memorial Hospital after he was shot six times in the line of duty Monday afternoon.
The shooting happened near the Colonial Square Apartment homes off Old Hapeville Road around 1:15 p.m.
Police said officers were trying to take a known gang member into custody who had outstanding warrants for a robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm from October 2021.
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Investigators said the suspect had a gun and shot one officer six times. Another officer fired back at him but the suspect was not wounded.
Police said the suspect then ran into a nearby apartment complex. Police identified the shooter as Christian Eppinger, 22. Seiden learned he is a documented gang member with the Young Slime Life (YSL) gang.
Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was in court Tuesday, where Eppinger had his first appearance. The judge denied him bond.
The officer was identified in the hearing as Officer David Rodgers.
Eppinger is currently being held in the Fulton County Jail on a laundry list of charges, including: armed robbery, aggravated assault, attempted murder, aggravated battery against a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and many more.
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Investigators at the scene told Seiden that Rodgers, the officer who was wounded, was a member of a specialized unit that was specifically targeting violent offenders and at some point during the arrest, the suspect pulled a gun and started shooting at the officer.
Rodgers was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with what police said were serious injuries. The 11-year Atlanta Police Department veteran underwent surgery and was last listed as stable.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been called in to help with the investigation.
Family members of the officer told Channel 2′s Christian Jennings that the officer was shot in his thigh and shoulder and is able to talk.
They also said he was surrounded by loved ones. Police said Monday’s shooting reinforces why they wear the badge.
“This department will not be deterred. What happened today is the challenge we are against here in Atlanta and in cities across this country where individuals are heavily armed heavy proliferation of guns and are at loose in our communities causing harm to police officers who are being assaulted at record levels and placing communities in imminent harm,” said Deputy Police Chief Darin Schierbaum.
The family has been talking with Channel 2 Action News, but for now they aren’t ready to release a statement.
They did however say they’re thankful for the community’s support and prayers
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens went to the hospital Monday to visit the officer.
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