DeKalb County

GBI: Man with rifle spotted near homicide scene shot, killed by police; 1 officer injured

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A homicide investigation ended with a man killed by DeKalb County officers after he fired shots at them, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.

The deadly shooting happened Monday night at the Shell gas station off Welborn Road and Covington Highway. Channel 2′s Larry Spruill first reported on the scene on WSB Tonight as police blocked off the intersection for the investigation.

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According to the GBI, DeKalb police responded to a homicide off Cedar Croft Court in Lithonia around 8:30 p.m.

Terri Maultsby told Channel 2′s Bryan Mimms that she passed a car stopped alongside the road Monday night.

“We instantly realized it was gunshots,” Maultsby said. “And we could see the lights going off in the car and hear the gunshots coming from that vehicle. Somebody opened the door, but we didn’t want to see who was coming out of that vehicle.”

Police said they were searching for someone connected to the homicide when they spotted a man armed with a rifle a mile away at the gas station. The GBI said the man began shooting at officers and hit several police cars and a civilian’s car.

The officers returned fire and shot the man, who died at the scene. Police identified him as 23-year-old Lerelle Chatman. One officer suffered minor injuries.

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The GBI said it will conduct an independent investigation in the officer shooting and turned it over to the district attorney’s office when it is completed.

This is the 106th officer involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2022 and the second one on Monday. Clayton County police called the GBI to investigate after one of their officers shot and killed a 19-year-old accused of stealing a car.

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