Trooper hospitalized, one person dead after shooting at future site of police training facility
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The Georgia Department of Public Safety has confirmed that a Georgia State Patrol trooper was shot Wednesday morning near the site of the future Atlanta police training facility.
The shooting reportedly happened near Constitution Road and Bouldercrest Road near Moreland Avenue.
During a press briefing at around 11:30 a.m., the Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed that the shooting was related to the controversy around the police training facility. Police officers and troopers with Georgia State Patrol say they were conducting a clearing operation near the area where arrests were made last month when someone disobeyed verbal commands, then opened fire on the officers and troopers. The shooter was then shot by law enforcement and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The trooper, who was shot in the abdomen, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and rushed into surgery, according to Col. Chris Wright with Georgia State Patrol. Following surgery, the trooper is now recovering in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and is said to be stable.
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People gathered on Wednesday night in support of the person who was killed near the future site of the Atlanta police training facility earlier in the day.
DeKalb County released the following statement after hearing the news about the shooting:
DeKalb County Government offers its thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery for the Georgia State Patrol officer shot today in DeKalb County. DeKalb County will continue to cooperate with and provide support to the multijurisdictional law enforcement task force charged with maintaining peace and security.
Gov. Brian Kemp also released a statement on his Twitter account:
The future site of the Atlanta Public Training Center has been the center of controversy for many months. Critics and protesters claim the southwest Atlanta location of so-called “Cop City” will lead to increased police brutality in Black communities surrounding the Weelaunee Forest and bring environmental destruction to ancestral lands.
Supporters of the Stop Cop City movement allege the person shot by law enforcement was a protestor.
The training facility, which will include classrooms, a shooting range, an emergency vehicle driving course, a “burn building” and more, is scheduled to open in late 2023.
Five people were arrested in December for domestic terrorism during a raid of the site. Police reportedly found “explosive devices, gasoline, and road [flares]” during a sweep of the area and arrested Francis Carroll, Nicholas Olsen, Serena Hertel, Leonard Vioselle and Arieon Robinson.
In May, 7 people were arrested during a protest that involved a fire started by a Molotov-type device that was allegedly thrown at police officers during the protest.
The Atlanta City Council voted last September to lease the land to the Atlanta Police Foundation to build the 85-acre center. Activists and protesters say they would like to preserve the old Prison Farm site as a public green space.
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