A man is in the hospital and being investigated for outstanding warrants following a police-involved shooting early Thursday evening in southeast Atlanta.
Police said an officer stopped an unlicensed, uninsured car at the Citgo convenience store on Jonesboro Road at I-285 around 5 p.m.
“The officer initiated a routine traffic stop on a vehicle that fit the description of vehicles that had been involved in some armed robberies in the area,” Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said.
The officer ordered the driver of the car to roll down the window and put the car in park, but the driver refused to comply and tried to drive off, Campos said.
“At some point the officer drew his service weapon and a round was fired,” he said.
Gary Griffin was a passenger in the vehicle and said the officer banged on the top of the car with his weapon.
“He hit the car three times,” Griffin said of the officer. “When he hit the car the third time, the gun discharged and hit Will right in the face.”
Griffin said the driver, 21-year-old Will Otis King, drove out of the gas station parking lot and up to an apartment complex in the 900 block of Conley Drive.
“I don’t know how he kept driving,” Griffin said. “Blood was just gushing from the side of his face.”
Campos was unable to say why the officer fired the weapon.
“Details of the shooting are under investigation,” he said, noting that investigators from the department’s homicide unit and office of professional standards were looking into the circumstances. “We’re working to determine exactly what happened.”
King acknowledged to Griffin before being pulled over that he didn’t have insurance or his license on him, Griffin said.
Campos, however, said King had outstanding warrants in Clayton County for child cruelty charges and probation violation on a weapons charge.
King was taken by someone at the apartment complex to South Fulton Regional Hospital, and from there was transferred to Atlanta Medical Center, where he remains in critical but stable condition, police said.
On Friday, Atlanta Police Sgt. Greg Lyon said King is being charged with felony marijuana possession and misdemeanor obstruction in connection with Thursday’s incident.
The investigation is ongoing.