ATLANTA — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is continuing to investigate what led up to a man being shot and killed by an off-duty Atlanta police officer outside of a popular Buckhead restaurant.
New security footage from the restaurant released exclusively to Channel 2′s Justin Carter gives new insight into those critical moments.
The general manager of Roasters, Jennifer Smith, says 30-year-old Rogers Kyaruzi was in the parking lot of the Lenox Road restaurant harassing customers for over an hour before the deadly shooting.
Around 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, witnesses reported seeing a man, later identified as Kyaruzi, roaming around the popular parking lot.
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In the video obtained by Carter, Kyaruzi can be seen getting on his hands and knees before following a customer into the restaurant, where Smith was having a staff meeting. That’s when the officer intervened.
“He was saying something to the customer, and two seconds after that, the officer came in,” Smith said.
Seconds after Kyaruzi entered the restaurant, the officer is seen on video walking into the restaurant behind him.
There’s no sound of the video, but Smith says you can make out Kyaruzi and the officer exchange a few words.
“I do know that when the officer came in and asked him to leave, he wouldn’t leave,” she explained.
After that, there was a scuffle where Smith says Kyaruzi had the officer pinned for almost two minutes.
“In the video, there is two different times he attempts to open the door to come back in, and the officer put his foot on the door to prevent him from opening the door, and you see him push the officer, and that’s when the two started wrestling, and that’s when the gunshots went off,” Smith described.
Channel 2 Action News is not showing the moments right before the fatal shot was fired, but the video goes on to show the officer regaining control and shooting Kyaruzi.
“For 34 years, we’ve been here and we’ve never had an experience anything like this,” Smith said.
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Kyaruzi’s sister, Myra Yorke, says it just doesn’t add up.
“We want answers. I mean this is strange. My brother is not a drug abuser or anything like that,” Yorke said. “I talked to him earlier that day, and maybe about two hours prior to it, everything seemed fine.”
Smith says that until further notice, Roasters will be take-out only for the safety of their customers and staff.
“It’s devastating for all of us. Unfortunately, a gentleman lost his life, but also we’re hurting as a family here,” Smith said.
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Atlanta police says they can’t comment any further on the GBI’s investigation. They did confirm that there is body camera footage, but it will be up to police chief to release it in conjunction with the GBI.
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