Georgia police officer shot, killed while responding to report of suspicious vehicle
iStock/Thinkstock(SNELLVILLE, Ga.) — A police officer was shot and killed near a school in Georgia after responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle, authorities said.
Antwan Toney and another officer approached a vehicle near the Shiloh Middle School in Snellville to check out a report of people smoking marijuana, according to Sgt. Jake Smith of the Gwinnett County Police Department.
That’s when shots rang out from inside the vehicle, Smith said, adding that such things don’t happen “99.999 percent” of the time.
“That it went this way — it’s just tragic,” Smith said.
One of the bullets struck Toney, Smith said.
His partner, who has not been identified, dragged Toney away for cover, Smith said.
It was not immediately clear where Toney was struck, but he succumbed to his injuries — just six days from his three-year mark with the department, Smith said.
The vehicle, which had as many as four people in it, took off and crashed less than a mile from the shooting scene, Smith said. The officers had returned fire, and it was unclear whether anyone in the car was wounded or whether the car simply crashed while fleeing, Smith said. The suspects fled on foot.
Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers said in a subsequent press conference that investigators are reviewing body camera footage of the shooting, but did not specify whose body camera footage he was referring to. Earlier, Smith had said most of the officers in the department have body cameras, but not all.
“The people that worked with Officer Toney on a daily basis recalled a very jovial person who was dedicated to his job and dedicated to his community,” Ayers said.
Police announced at a late-night press conference that Isaiah Pretlow had been arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service. According to Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers, Pretlow was in the vehicle that crashed, and took off on foot. He was approached by officers and opened fire on them, but no one was struck.
Pretlow has been charged with aggravated assault, Ayers said.
At the same press conference, Ayers announced that police are still searching for Tafahree Maynard, but he has been charged with aggravated assault and murder. He also fled the crash on foot and is considered armed and dangerous.
The other officer who approached the vehicle with Toney did not appear to suffer any injuries.
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