Vine City MARTA shooting investigation complete - CBS46 News

Vine City MARTA shooting investigation complete

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Joetavius Stafford Joetavius Stafford

After an investigation, officials determined that a MARTA shooting involving an officer was justified.

On Oct. 15, 2011, Joetavius Stafford was shot and killed by MARTA Officer Robert Waldo at the Vine City MARTA Station in Atlanta.

After interviews with more than 40 witnesses and a review of key DNA, the Fulton County District Attorney's Office has concluded that the death of Stafford was the result of a justified shooting under the laws of Georgia.

Three hours before the shooting, Stafford and a group of friends arrived at the Georgia Dome for a local high school football game.

Stafford and his group were eventually kicked out of the facility after engaging in a wild chair and fist-throwing fight with another group of men, according to reports.

According to phone records, Stafford asked another friend to bring him a weapon.

Police said after Stafford was expelled by Dome security, a group of three men, including Stafford's brother Rodney, arrived across the street from the Georgia Dome in Stafford's car with the handgun he requested.

Stafford was involved in another fight outside of the Georgia Dome in the parking lot of the nearby Vine City MARTA Station, according to witnesses.

A female officer saw Stafford pummeling another man with his fists.

She attempted to stop him. She swung her police baton at Stafford, but failed to make contact. She then pepper-sprayed Stafford with no success.

Seconds later, Stafford ran to his car and got a handgun, then fired two shots into the crowd gathered in the parking lot, according to witnesses on scene.

Waldo, another MARTA officer responding, ordered him to freeze.

Stafford ignored the officer's command and ran towards the rear of the MARTA station.

The officer was forced to shoot Stafford. He was shot once in the chest and twice in the back.

Under Georgia law, Waldo was authorized to arrest Stafford as soon as he saw him shooting into the crowd.

Georgia law also allows officers to use deadly force to apprehend fleeing felons, particularly when there is a clear and present danger to the public.

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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