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Autopsy report from MARTA shooting shows 3 shots killed Stafford

5:43 PM, Oct 18, 2011   |    comments
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Joetavius Stafford, 19, was shot and killed by a MARTA police officer.

ATLANTA -- The Fulton County Medical Examiner's office released an autopsy report Tuesday in the death of Joetavius Stafford, who was shot to death in a confrontation with a MARTA police officer Saturday night.

According to the report, Stafford, 19, was shot three times -- once in the left-front-chest area, once in the left side of the mid-back and once more in the mid-lower back area.

The report goes on to say information is not provided as to the position of Stafford's body when he was shot, or the order in which the shots occurred. It also says the shots do not appear to have occurred at close range.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's complete report said the following:

The autopsy examination of Joetavious Stafford, who was shot near the Vine City MARTA Station on October 15, 2011, shows that there were three gunshot entry wounds. There were no exit wounds and three bullets were recovered. One of the entry wounds was located on the left front chest area, another was on the left side of the mid-back, and the third was near the mid-lower back. The autopsy does not provide information to indicate Joetavious' body position when he was shot or the order in which the shots occurred. None of the entry wounds appear to be close range or contact wounds. Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Michele Stauffenberg, MD, conducted the autopsy. The cause of death is gunshot wounds of the torso. Investigation by law enforcement personnel continues, and further tests will be conducted by the GBI Division of Forensic Sciences.

***This is a breaking news update. 11Alive's earlier reporting follows***

ATLANTA -- Contrary to witness reports, a statement from MARTA on Saturday night's fatal shooting of a 19-year-old says the victim was armed when he was shot by a MARTA police officer.

According to MARTA, Officer Robert Waldo confronted Joetavius Stafford near the Vine City MARTA station after 10 p.m. Saturday.

Stafford was shot and killed in the exchange.

His older brother, Rodney Stafford, said Joetavius had gotten into a fight outside the MARTA station. Rodney said someone fired a gun into the air, causing the gathered crowd to scatter.

Rodney said his brother was running from the area when Officer Waldo began chasing him, and that he had his hands up when the officer shot him.

"I witnessed that he was shot in the back," Rodney Stafford said. "My little brother had his hands up, and they shot him in the back."

He said the officer shot his brother in the back two more times when he was on the ground.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner ruled Stafford's death a homicide.

MARTA officials said Officer Waldo has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the conclusion of a GBI investigation into the shooting.

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