ATLANTA — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating a deadly officer-involved shooting outside the public safety annex in northwest Atlanta.
According to the GBI, two plainclothes detectives arrived at the building on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway around 7 p.m. Thursday to do some paperwork and saw what appeared be a suspicious person in a car.
After the detectives approached, the man, identified as Deaundre Phillips, got out of the vehicle. During a conversation, Phillips lunged back into the vehicle and attempted to flee while one of the detectives was partially in the passenger side, authorities said.
Phillips fled with the detective halfway in the vehicle, according to the GBI.
The detective fired his gun at Phillips, they said.
Phillips died at the scene.
On Friday, protesters gathered at the scene, including one of Phillips’ relatives.
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“Immediately, I got calls from family members saying he's gone. That's it,” Deandre Green, Phillips’ cousin, told Channel 2’s Carl Willis.
Investigators said the detectives smelled marijuana smoke coming from Phillips' car, which is why the approached it.
"The male did exit the vehicle and a short time later there was a conversation. That male then lunged back in the car on the driver's side and attempted to flee," Nelly Miles with GBI said.
The Atlanta Police Department requested that the GBI lead the investigation. Agents said a detective was halfway in the car when Phillips tried to drive off. They say that's when the detective fired a fatal shot.
"It's still a senseless killing. I mean, something else could have been done," Green said.
Protestors feel the same way.
GBI agents say they recovered a handgun on Phillips' floorboard, but did not say that he reached for it. The investigation continues.
"We're in the process of conducting several investigative acts including interviewing witnesses. We do have some surveillance video that we want to review," Miles told Willis.
“Hopefully, we will get more answers from the situation and like I said, it's a senseless killing.
Something could have been avoided,” Green said.
The Fulton County medical examiner is performing an autopsy on Phillips.
Cox Media Group