Christmas Eve 2021: DeKalb Police shoot man at Walmart; 16-year-old critically injured

A map of DeKalb County, GA. Image obtained via Google Maps

This story has been updated. 

DeKalb County, GA — Violence shook DeKalb County on Christmas Eve 2021.

A police officer fatally shot a man at a local Walmart following an exchange of gunfire, and Clarkston Police investigated the unrelated shooting of a 16-year-old.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, police and a man – described as a suspect – exchanged gunshots at the Walmart on Gresham Road in DeKalb County. The man allegedly fired at officers, who did not initially return fire, the AJC reported. Police say the man “raised his firearm again” and was shot.  To read the full AJC story, click here.

Police later said the man was accused of shoplifting.

“Today, at approx. 1 p.m., a DKPD officer working a part time job at the Walmart located at 2427 Gresham Road, confronted an alleged shoplifter who fired a weapon at the officer,” the Police Department said via Twitter. “During his attempt to escape, the suspect encountered another DKPD officer and raised his firearm at that officer. That officer discharged his weapon, striking the suspect who succumbed to his injuries on scene. The GBI was requested and is handling the investigation.”

The GBI is investigating and released more details about the shooting:

The GBI is investigating an officer involved shooting in DeKalb County, GA.  The DeKalb County Police Department asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation on Friday, December 24, 2021.  One man has died.  No officers were injured.

Preliminary information indicates that at 1:04 p.m., a Walmart Loss Prevention Officer at the Walmart on Gresham Road, DeKalb County, Georgia made contact with a man who had been putting items in a large backpack and who had attempted to leave the store without paying for the items.  A DeKalb County P.D. officer working an off-duty job and another DeKalb County P.D. officer attempted to make contact with the man as he was walking out of the store.  The man ran back into the store and police officers and the loss prevention officer followed.  The man drew a handgun and fired at the police officers and loss prevention officer.  During the incident, an officer attempted to tase the man.  The man ran outside of the store, holding the gun. During the incident, an officer fired his gun, hitting the man.  The man died on scene.

The deceased man’s identity is not being released at this time while pending an official identification and next of kin notification.

The GBI investigation is active and ongoing.  Once the investigation is done, the casefile will be given to the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office for review.

This is the 98th officer involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2021.

In an unrelated incident, Clarkston Police announced they are searching for answers after a 16-year-old was critically injured after being shot in the head.

A spokesperson for the Police Department said, “On December 24, 2021, at approximately 3 p.m. Clarkston Police Department responded to a person shot call located at Montreal Creek Circle within the Clarkston Station Apartments. Upon officers’ arrival, they located a male juvenile victim (16 years of age) with a gunshot wound to the head. The victim has been transported to a local hospital in critical condition. It is currently unknown the circumstances which led up to the shooting. This is still an open and ongoing investigation. It is our priority here at the Clarkston Police Department to locate and bring the subject or subjects involved to justice. We send our thoughts and prayers to the victim and his family during this holiday season. We are requesting anyone with any information please contact Sgt. Trumble at (404) 557-8956.”

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