GBI investigating after 1 man killed in officer-involved shooting

Published: Sep. 19, 2014 at 4:15 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2014 at 4:13 PM EDT
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Charles Smith (Source: Family photo used with permission)
Charles Smith (Source: Family photo used with permission)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Police have cleared the scene in the area of Augusta Avenue in west Savannah after an officer involved shooting early Thursday afternoon killed one man. GBI has been brought in to investigate the incident.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, SCMPD officers arrested Charles Smith, 29, on outstanding warrants. Police placed Smith under arrest and he was handcuffed behind his back and placed in a patrol car.

After being placed into the patrol car, Smith was able to move his hands to the front of his body and kicked out the window of the patrol car.

Officers said Smith attempted to exit the patrol car and they saw he had a firearm. Smith was then shot and killed at the scene. During the crime scene investigation, a firearm was found under Smith's body.

Advanced Police Officer David Jannot, a 10-year veteran of the department, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

The coroner arrived at the scene around 2:30 p.m. and the body has been removed.

Mayor Edna Jackson and Police Chief Julie Tolbert addressed the crowd that gathered around the scene saying this is a sad day in the community and they are doing everything to make sure the truth comes out.

They also asked the crowd to give them time to get all the information possible.

WTOC spoke with one man who said he knew the man who was killed.

"The terrible thing about it was...the man...he was cool people. He was willing to help out. If he got it and you needed help. He was willing. That's all I can say. He was a personal friend," Joe Strobert said.

GBI investigators are expected to be on the scene for hours. Jackson and Tolbert also added that when an officer is involved in something they have to call an outside agency, which is the GBI.

Police have asked people to avoid the area.

Jackson and Tolbert promised the crowd that the situation will be handled correctly and they plan to keep the family and community informed on what's going on.

"This will be cleared up, this will be cleared up," Jackson said. "As I said, I did talk to the mother. We don't need anything to happen and we are going to keep the family and the community informed about everything that is going on."

Stay with WTOC for more on this developing story.

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