GBI investigating deadly officer-involved shooting in Savannah

GBI investigating deadly officer-involved shooting in Savannah
(Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - An officer-involved shooting in Savannah is being investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at the request of the Savannah Police Department.

According to the GBI, Savannah Police officers responded to a homeless camp located in an area near Fulton Road and Navajo Road in Savannah around 8:30 a.m. Saturday following a request from the landowners that homeless persons be removed from private property.

When officers approached the last known area of a homeless person located in a tent, the man exited the tent in an aggressive manner holding a razor knife and another sharp object. The man did not follow the officer’s order to drop his weapons.

Two officers were able to get to a safe location. One officer was not and was backed into an area, eventually discharging his firearm at the man charging toward him with the weapon.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. No officers were injured in this incident.

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson weighed in on the shooting.

“All shootings are not alike,” said Mayor Johnson. “We will make sure that the facts and that’s why I’m glad that again the GBI is taking over this investigation so that no one can say is there any foul play was going on. Obviously, if the officer was acting improperly then will take action, and if the officer was justified in taking that action, and then that’s a story there.”

The Mayor also says Savannah Police are required to wear body cameras and says the city wants to make sure there’s a fair and impartial analysis of the facts.

He’s also cautioning people not to rush to conclusions and wait for the GBI’s findings.

" We want to be transparent,” Mayor Johnson said. “We want to be open. We want to make sure we have a fair and impartial analysis of the fact and we want to determine what they are. So that is why we have the GBI involved and we’ll just wait and see. In any case, a life was taken today and that’s never a good thing.”

Preliminary investigation shows the victim is from California.

The GBI will continue to investigate.

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