Atlanta, GA – Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the Atlanta police officer who was shot on Wednesday afternoon was ambushed.
Atlanta Police Chief of Investigations Charles Hampton told reporters at a press briefing that the incident began at about 1 p.m. on June 30 when officers responded to a “shots fired” call inside a midtown apartment building.
Two officers arrived at the Solace on Peachtree Apartments in the 700-block of Peachtree Street, WXIA reported.
Chief Hampton said the officers got into the elevator and headed up to the 8th floor where the shooting had reportedly occurred.
“Upon exiting the elevator, they were immediately met by gunfire,” he said. “They returned fire and one gunman was fatally shot.”
Chief Hampton said that the suspect who fired on the gunman was fatally shot, WXIA reported.
The officers quickly located a gunshot victim inside an apartment on that floor of the building, the chief said.
He told reporters the original gunshot victim was transported to the hospital in stable condition.
The wounded officer was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment, WXIA reported.
Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said the name of the wounded hero was being withheld in order to guard his family’s privacy and allow time for other family members to be notified.
“The officer is stable and talking to police and his partners, as well as his family members,” Chief Bryant said.
Police have not yet established the identity of the dead gunman, according to officials.
Chief Hampton said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was taking the lead in the investigation of the officer-involved shooting, and the Atlanta Police Department’s Homicide Unit would handle the investigation of the victim who was shot in the apartment.
Chief Hampton said the preliminary investigation indicated that police had accounted for everyone involved and investigators believe that only one suspect had fired at the officer.
Investigators believed the same gunman shot the officer and the civilian victim, according to the chief.
However, he cautioned that it was still very early in the investigation and police don’t yet know for certain whether the gunman came to the building with any other suspects.
The mayor thanked all of the law enforcement agencies who rushed to the scene to assist Atlanta police including the Fulton County and DeKalb County sheriff’s departments.
Bottoms said that Atlanta police had run into danger and “were ambushed.”
But even after one of the officers was shot, they kept going and quickly helped the first victim who had been shot, the mayor said.
“The courage that was displayed – really, I don’t have the words to describe. To all our members of public safety, thank you for what you do for all of us in continuing to keep us safe,” she said.
Chief Hampton said there was an ongoing “very active” investigation at the scene.
The Atlanta Police Department is currently responding to an officer-involved shooting. Avoid Peachtree Street (between North Avenue and 4th Street) pic.twitter.com/kflxnzzrFL
— Atlanta Police Department (@Atlanta_Police) June 30, 2021
A SWAT unit remained on the scene and helicopters flew over the area, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The apartment building’s concierge, Patrick Walker, said he was at the front deck when he heard what sounded like a loud box drop hit the floor.
Walker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that officers came running into the building and then, from his spot inside a locked leasing office, he heard “lots of gunfire” erupt.
The concierge said he saw a wounded officer “bleeding so bad” being carried out of the building.
“I’ve never known what it meant to run for your life and be so scared,” Walter told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Now I do.”