A teenager suspected in the shooting of a Georgia policeman, was himself shot and killed after being pursued by officers.
Tafahree Maynard, 18, one of two men charged over the shooting on Saturday of Gwinnett County police Officer Antwan Toney, was followed to a shed close to the town of Snellville, 30 miles east of Atlanta.
Police Chief Butch Ayers said the teenager had “failed to comply” with verbal commands after being confronted by officers in the early hours of Monday. Speaking at a press conference, Mr Ayers said Maynard initially had his hand behind his back and when he showed his hand, he was holding an “edged weapon” - believed to be a lawnmower blade.
Police Chief Butch Ayers has confirmed that suspect Tafahree Maynard was shot and killed while GCPD officers tried to apprehend him. Details will follow. pic.twitter.com/bgDyWj1OR7
— Gwinnett Police Dept (@GwinnettPd) October 22, 2018
He said one officer fired a stun gun at Maynard and the other fatally shot him from about five or six feet. “I would like to say that the danger to the community is over,” said Mr Ayers.
Mr Toney was killed after responding to a call around 2.30pm on Saturday about a suspicious vehicle near Shiloh Middle School in the Snellville area. When the officers approached, someone in the vehicle opened fire and Mr Toney was hit, police said. The vehicle then sped off.
The Associated Press said Mr Toney, 30, who was originally from southern California, died at a hospital from his wounds. “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,” said Mr Ayers said.
A second suspect, 19-year-old Isaiah Pretlow, was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pointing a gun at an officer during the pursuit after Mr Toney’s fatal shooting, police said
The AP said Mr Pretlow drove the vehicle away after the shooting, crashed a short distance away and fled along with other occupants. An officer searching the area later encountered Mr Pretlow around 3pm. Mr Pretlow pointed a gun at the officer, who fired shots, according to police.
“What prompted Mr Maynard, the suspect, to fire, I’m not sure we’ll ever know, but the fact of the matter is Officer Toney never had the chance to verbally engage with the suspects or the occupants of the car, and the deadly shots were fired from inside through a closed window,” said Mr Ayers.
Mr Pretlow was not hit and fled into some woods. He was subsequently taken into custody around 11.30pm. It is not clear if Mr Pretlow has yet been assigned a lawyer or entered a plea.