GAINESVILLE, Ga. - The Gainesville Police Department said an officer shot a man who officials say pulled a knife on emergency responders following a hit-and-run crash Monday evening.
[INTERACTIVE MAP: Shootings involving Georgia law enforcement for 2019]
The shooting happened near the intersection of West Avenue and Comer Street.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed it was called in to help with the investigation.
"This is a sad and very unfortunate situation," Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said.
The police shooting began with a man police say may have caused a car to crash into him.
"The individual had to kind of walk into the vehicle and made it look like they had hit him with the vehicle," Holbrook said.
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Gainesville police said witnesses told them the man was behaving erratically before and after the crash.
Fire fighters and medics responded to a 911 call at around 5:30 p.m. and found themselves looking for help.
"The individual pulled a knife from his pocket. He then became a knife-wielding suspect, threatening the parademics, threatening the fire department, threatening those who were there to assist him," Holbrook said.
Police said the man's behavior became more aggressive as police arrived.
"This individual charged at the officers with a knife and unfortunately, one of our officers did have to discharge our firearm, striking the individual," Holbrook said.
The unidentified man's condition is considered serious.
Neighbor Elvia Gonzalez didn't witness what happened but said the shooting highlights the dangers of being a police officer.
"Sometimes they have to do it, you know, because there's not an option to do it, so they do whatever they need to do, you know?" she said.
The names of the suspect and officer involved have not been released.
The shooting is the 65th shooting involving a law enforcement officer so far this year.
UPDATE 7:15 PM: Preliminary investigation determined that officers responded to the area of West Avenue and Comer Street in reference to a hit and run. The fire department arrived on scene to begin rendering aid to a male subject. The male pulled a knife on the medical personnel and our officers intervened and attempted to deescalate the situation. Unfortunately, to no avail our officers discharged their firearms. GBI will be handling the investigation.
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