Gwinnett County police say a man killed by one of their own officers did not have a gun when they shot him on Saturday. But, they say Robert Coleman, of Flowery Branch, attacked a police officer who was searching the house Coleman reportedly broke into.
Police say Coleman knocked the officer to the ground during the attack, which is when he opened fire on Coleman. A second officer also fired shots at Coleman, fearing for the other officer's life. One of them was shot in the leg, the department now saying it was "friendly fire".
The officer was treated at a hospital and released hours after the shooting. Both are on mandatory administrative leave.
A police department spokesman said officers shot and killed Coleman, 30, at a home on Smokemist Trace near Lawrenceville at about 4:30 p.m.
According to police, Coleman had just stabbed someone at another home three blocks away on Willow Wood Road after a party.
Officers were at the home Saturday for more than six hours and dozens of police cars and Crime Scene Unit vans were seen leaving just before midnight.
Officers had responded to the stabbing, but found no victim. At about the same time, police got another call for a burglary in progress at the second home, said Cpl. Deon Washington.
When they arrived at the home on Smokemist they found Coleman inside.
The woman who lives in the home was crying in shock as police processed her home, now a crime scene. She told CBS Atlanta's Donna Rapado that she and her boyfriend were in the home when they heard someone trying to break in. They called 911 and hid at a small apartment on the property until police arrived. That's when she said they heard several gunshots.
She described the neighborhood as peaceful, where nothing ever happens. Her neighbors agreed.
"We've lived here 25 years and so, we're just shocked that something like this could've happened," said Shirley Harazin.
Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.More >
Monday, September 1 2014 11:00 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:00:16 GMT
It's an amazing story of inspiration. One man's journey against all odds. 38-year-old Michael Mills is a paraplegic. He was hit by a drunk driver at the age of 16 and before that he was faced with this. "IMore >
It's an amazing story of inspiration. One man's journey against all odds. 38-year-old Michael Mills is a paraplegic, but it's not slowing him down. More >