Officer Shoots and Kills Armed Robbery Suspect - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Officer Shoots and Kills Armed Robbery Suspect

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The suspect walked in the store, pointed a gun at the cashier and demanded money. The suspect walked in the store, pointed a gun at the cashier and demanded money.
Savannah Chatham police arrived moments later.  The suspect shot at the officer, the officer shot back. Savannah Chatham police arrived moments later. The suspect shot at the officer, the officer shot back.
The store was full of customers at the time. The store was full of customers at the time.

SAVANNAH, GA--An armed robbery suspect is dead and a Savannah-Chatham police officer is on administrative leave following a brief confrontation and shooting.

It happened shortly after 11pm Saturday evening. Police say 18-year-old Arnold Arkeem Cato walked into a BP gas station on Skidaway Road and Eisenhower Driver, and robbed a clerk at gunpoint. Witnesses say Cato fired at least one round at the clerk before leaving the store.

Once Cato was outside the store, Star Cpl. Andrew Osteen drove up and confronted him. Cato shot several times at Osteen and Osteen returned fire, hitting Cato at least once in his chest. Cato began running and later collapsed.

Officers tried to give Cato CPR and he was rushed to Memorial Health where he later died.

Police say, with an increase in robberies this year, they are using a redeployment strategy to have more officers in the right place at the right time. This is the second time this year officers have interrupted an armed robbery in progress, resulting in armed confrontations.

Cato's family is still in shock after learning he was shot and killed by police. And they still can't believe Cato was the armed robber police were looking for.

Saturday night, Cato's cousin Jabari Weldon says he was passing by the BP and saw all the commotion on the way to his aunt's house.

"I seen the police cars and I told her not to worry and I'll call back in a few minutes to make sure Arkeem is alright," said Weldon.

His aunt, Sandra Weldon, Cato's mother, was concerned about her 18-year-old son. Cato had gotten home from work around 10pm that night and told his sister he was going to leave and come right back.

As time passed, Cato's sister got worried. Sandra says it's mainly because her other son Tony was shot and killed less than eight months ago.

"She wanted to call and check on her brother," Sandra Weldon told us.

She called several times but didn't get an answer. A short while later, Sandra says police called her house.

"He said I need to be straightforward about the telephone, because the person that had the phone in their pocket is no longer here, they passed away," said Sandra.

That was how Sandra found out about the shooting Sunday morning. But she still couldn't believe her son was involved.

"He wouldn't do it. He knows what I went through with Tony," said Weldon.

But police say Cato was in fact the armed robber.

"We have the evidence that shows that the suspect in the video is the suspect that Star Cpl Osteen chased around the building and fired as a result of the suspect firing at him," said SCMPD Lt. Devonn Adams.

Leaving this mother to grieve the loss of two of her sons in less than a year.

"The pain. I can't even describe the pain," said Weldon.

Weldon says the family has not made any plans for a funeral. Police recovered Cato's gun, stolen cash, mask, gloves and shell casings from both guns. All the evidence has been sent to the GBI crime lab for examination.

Star Cpl. Osteen is on administrative leave pending the investigation, which is standard procedure for all officer-involved shootings.

Reported by: David Hall, dhall@wtoc.com

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