ATLANTA — Atlanta police confirmed to Channel 2 Action News that one of their officers was shot Wednesday afternoon at a Midtown apartment building.
The officer is stable and talking to his family, Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said.
According to investigators, the shooting happened at the Solace on Peachtree Apartments. The officers were responding to a call of a person shot inside an apartment.
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“As soon as the elevator door opened they were met with gunfire, immediately,” Atlanta Deputy Police Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said. “Officers were able to return fire, and we believe that one suspect was fatally struck.”
The officer was carried downstairs and rushed to the hospital. The victim in the original shooting was also taken to a hospital and is stable.
“It is only through their training and by the grace of God that these officers did not come upon a more tragic situation,” Bryant said during an afternoon news conference.
Later in the evening, Bryant confirmed the injured officer sustained an injury to his face. He has be with the force just over two years.
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“These officers were ambushed,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. “While so many of us run from danger, our officers run into danger. And that is what happened today.”
“Even with one of the officers being struck, they quickly responded and the courage displayed ... really I don’t have the words to describe,” Bottoms continued.
Lance Terrell lives in the Solace on Peachtree Apartments. He told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that he walked downstairs shortly after the shooting to find stunned people in the lobby.
“I saw a bunch of people looking, like, shocked. I looked over to see a police officer standing next to an open elevator and I saw blood all over it and a couple gun clips,” Terrell said.
Jave Brown lives nearby and said he heard the guns shots.
“I was in my apartment. I heard what sounded like gunshots. I couldn’t tell what it was. I wasn’t expecting it, so ... Then I heard the sirens. Once I found out what was going on I realized it was gunshots,” Brown said.
Terrell said he just moved to Atlanta and never expected to run into something like this.
“I moved up to the city six or seven months ago. I never thought I would see this. I know its probably naïve of me,” Terrell said.
Authorities still have part of Peachtree Street blocked off as they investigate. Pictures from the scene show multiple police officers responding to the area near 3rd Street. APD is asking people to avoid the area between North Avenue and 4th Street.
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The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been called in to assist with investigation.
Several officers have also gathered at Grady Memorial Hospital, where the officer was taken for his injuries.
Chief Bryant said the injured officer was talking to his fellow investigators to help them figure out how everything unfolded.
Drivers are being asked to avoid the area and use Piedmont Avenue or I-75/85 as alternates.
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