Responding to a call about a suicidal person in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County police shot and killed a man Thursday night who was armed with a rifle and reportedly pointing it at them.
According to Gwinnett County Police Department’s Cpl. Jake Smith, officers responded to a call in Lawrenceville from a friend of James Clark saying Clark was suicidal. The friend told dispatchers Clark had cut himself with a knife and was armed with a gun and had already fired two shots. Clark told his friend he needed to leave because it was not safe for him to be there.
The first officers arrived to the home at 556 Trophy Trail at 6:41 p.m. Eight minutes later, Smith says Clark came out of his home holding a deer rifle with a mounting scope. Officers attempted to negotiate with Clark for the next 14 minutes and ordered him to drop his weapon several times. Clark did put down the rifle at one point, but picked it up again moments later. The man then climbed on to the roof of a car outside the carport and began yelling at the officers.
At 7:03 p.m., Clark started walking towards the officers with his rifle pointed at them. Two officers fired shots and killed Clark.
About 15 minutes later, Clark’s parents and brother arrived on the scene very upset. In a release, Smith said “the family’s behavior was given special consideration due to the circumstances.” Clark’s mother tried to go around the police tape after being refused entry to the crime scene several times by officers. She was taken away from the scene but not arrested.
However, Clark’s brother Robert and father Thomas shouted profanities and threats to the officers on the scene. After this continued, the two were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. They were released from the Gwinnett County Detention Center just before 1 a.m Friday.
GCPD says the two officers who fired the shots have been placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure in officer involved shootings.
An investigation into the shooting is being conducted by the Deadly Force Investigation Team, which consists of investigators from the Internal Affairs Unit, the Homicide Unit, the Crime Scene Unit, the Medical Examiner’s Office, and the District Attorney’s Office.
In January, GCPD officers were involved in a shooting in Stone Mountain.
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