ATLANTA, Ga. — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Fulton County District’s Attorney office are investigating a man’s death in a police shooting outside a Wendy’s.
The GBI said 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks of Atlanta was shot by an Atlanta Police officer as they attempted to arrest him and later died at a hospital after surgery.
Channel 2′s Matt Johnson learned that Brooks was a father of three girls and had a stepson. He had celebrated his daughter’s 8th birthday earlier the day he was killed.
The shooting led to the abrupt resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for the immediate termination of the officer.
Late Saturday night, an Atlanta police spokesman confirmed to ABC News the officer who pulled the trigger had been terminated.
Officer Garrett Rolfe was identified as the officer who was fired. The other officer involved in the call, Devin Bronsan, has been placed on administrative duty.
Rolfe has been with the department since 2013.
Officers from the Atlanta Police Department first responded to the fast food restaurant off University Avenue around 10:33 p.m. Friday night. The GBI says officers received a complaint about a man sleeping in a car in the drive-thru and cars having to drive around him.
Officers performed a field sobriety test on Brooks. The GBI says he failed the test and officers started to place him into custody. He resisted and a struggle happened over a Taser, according to witness reports.
“During the arrest, the male subject resisted and a struggle ensued. The officer deployed a Taser. Witnesses report that during the struggle the male subject grabbed and was in possession of the Taser,” the GBI said. “It has also been reported that the male subject was shot by an officer in the struggle over the Taser.”
GBI Director Vic Reynolds said in a news conference Saturday afternoon that video corroborated the fact that Brooks grabbed an officer’s Taser, ran a few feet away and then pointed it at officers before he was shot.
“He’s fleeing from an Atlanta police officer, and as he’s fleeing he turns back over his shoulder with what appears to the naked eye to be this Taser,” Reynolds.
Lawyers for Brooks’ family said that Tasers are not considered “deadly weapons” by police and that Brooks should not have been shot and killed.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms agreed that deadly use of force was not necessary and asked for the officer’s termination Saturday afternoon.
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned Saturday in light of Brooks’ death.
The GBI released surveillance videos showing the shooting Saturday night. You can watch the full video HERE.
Reynolds asked for patience from the public as they continue their investigation.
“I humbly and respectfully ask the public to wait a minute and see what we’ve been able to see,” Reynolds said.
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Other videos have been circulating around the internet Friday night and Saturday morning. The GBI said on Twitter that it is also reviewing those videos and asked for witnesses to come forward and help.
“The GBI is aware that there is video posted on social media captured by witnesses in this incident. We are reviewing the video & the early investigative information in this case. We’ll provide an update as soon as we can,” the tweet said.
This is the 48th police shooting the GBI has investigated in 2020. The investigation is ongoing and GBI will hand the case over to the Fulton District Attorney’s Office when it is done. However, district attorney Paul Howard said his office also has opened an independent investigation.
“In this matter, we are asking for the cooperation of the public. We are asking anyone who saw the incident to call the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office Tip Line at (404) 612-4903 and if they wish to email any information, still photos, and/or videos we ask that they do so by sending it to Donald.Hannah@fultoncountyga.gov,” Howard said in a statement. "Lastly, our thoughts and our sympathies are extended to the family of Rayshard Brooks as we must not forget that this investigation is centered upon a loss of life. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office is working diligently to gather all of the necessary information to proceed with this investigation.”
The Georgia NAACP chapter released the following statement:
“Atlantans woke up to disturbing videos and reports of Rayshard being killed by the Atlanta Police Department. At this time, we must address the oversaturated police presence in Atlanta’s Black communities. This is not the first time a Black man was killed for sleeping. We saw a similar situation with the murder of DeAundre Phillips. While Atlanta is often referred to as the so-called “Black Mecca,” the Atlanta Police Department has a history of antagonizing our Black communities. The City of Atlanta must address this not only with their words, but also with their actions and budgetary decisions."
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