Police Shoot Man Attempting To Take Officer Hostage

Athens, GA – Police shoot man who attempts to take an officer hostage.
Full body cam video

This one makes you want to jump inside the screen and take action when you watch.

Normally, you won’t find me criticizing officers, and especially not criticizing after a critical incident. I was a deputy sheriff for 17 years and understand very well that things are crazy in the moment and tend to look worse on camera… BUT… the end of this incident was completely avoidable.

I understand the value of human life and it’s in our nature to protect it and to keep from taking it to quickly. There have been literally dozens of times I would have been justified in shooting a suspect due to their actions, and did not, so just being quick on the trigger is not what I’m speaking of.

At the end of the day, the good guys go home to their families, no matter what. The officers in this incident are extremely lucky they are not planning a funeral after this incident.

They retreated down that long driveway for such a distance that they ended up in the street where the fire department was staging for the incident. Police don’t have to retreat, ever. Every step backward was a gift to the suspect of another moment on this planet after he decided to take a knife to a gunfight. Allowing this man to back the officers up all the way to a street to where the fireman (and public) are waiting for the scene to become safe is a massive mistake and could have caused injuries to others.

In my opinion, that officers should have made a stand prior to leaving the property and endangering more of the public.

The next big issue for me comes after they do decide to use lethal force. The suspect is hit, quickly recovers and starts moving forward toward officers again. My question is, if it was ok to shoot the suspect the first time for the exact same actions, why wasn’t it the second time? They should have used deadly force the second time much faster.

Instead, somehow the suspect (still with a knife) is able to charge an officer who somehow does not have his gun drawn DURING an officer involved shooting incident and take him hostage. It appears the officer was attempting to tase the suspect when he was attacked. Well, using a taser is over the moment you need to use deadly force, and clearly this was a time they should have had a gun drawn.

Thankfully the second officer took a gutsy shot and put the suspect down. They almost lost an officer and it was completely preventable.

All of this being said, I’m thankful the officers survived and they ended the incident. My criticism is meant to be a warning or reminder to others.

Stay safe.

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