Cobb County

‘I would have...talked him down:’ Family of metro man killed during SWAT standoff speaks out

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — The family of a Cobb County man who was shot and killed after a standoff with SWAT officers on Monday are speaking out for the first time.

Police say an officer shot 39-year-old Robert Parks to save the life of a hostage.

Cobb police responded to a call of shots fired inside an apartment at Concord Crossing near Smyrna around 9:45 a.m. on Monday. They say Parks was seen with a gun and knife, holding a man bound at the wrists.

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Parks’ family says he was reaching out for help after suffering a mental health crisis. They say he tried to go to the emergency department at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta earlier that morning, but his cousins say he ran off after waiting hours to be seen.

That’s when Asia Singleton says they called police, “and said my cousin is going through a mental breakdown, a mental episode. He needs help. We don’t know where he is.”

The family is not sure how he ended up back at his home, but say the hostage is actually Parks’ best friend who went there to help.


Anessa Daniels, who says she’s like his second mom, said police never notified the family until the standoff was over and their loved one was already dead.

“If they would have called me and told me, I would have went and talked him down, " she told Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach.

Police turned the investigation into the officer-involved shooting and deadly use of force over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The GBI will conduct their own independent investigation and turn everything over to the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office for review.

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“They’re not telling us what went on in that apartment, not saying anything,” said Singleton. “We told them he is suffering from mental issues, mental trauma. I understand if someone else is in danger that you have to do what’s necessary, but if that is the case, why aren’t you telling his family?”

Police say along with their SWAT team and crisis negotiators, members of the Crisis Intervention Team also responded to the scene of the standoff. They partner with mental health professionals on cases like this.