DEKALB COUNTY, GA (WXIA) – A DeKalb County police officer shot and killed a naked, unarmed man at an apartment complex Monday afternoon.
It happened in the parking lot at the Heights at Chamblee complex in the 3000 block of Chamblee Tucker Road.
Exactly what happened in the parking lot is not being debated. The stories from police and witnesses are consistent. What an investigation – led by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation – will determine is if the DeKalb County police officer was justified in shooting the man.
Police were called to the Heights apartments by a 911 caller who said a suspicious man was running through the complex.
"The caller reported a male acting deranged, knocking on doors and crawling around on the ground naked," said DeKalb County Police Chief Dr. Cedric Alexander in a Monday afternoon news conference.
When officers arrived, they found the man completely unclothed, in the parking lot.
Through an interpreter, Oscar Perez told 11Alive's Kevin Rowson what he saw next.
"The man, he was like drugged, but he was naked, and he was crawling," Perez said. "I think the police officer thought he was going to attack, so he shot him."
That story jibes with what police said at the Monday afternoon news conference.
"When the male saw the officer, he charged, running at the officer," Alexander said. "The officer called to him to stop, while stepping backward. He then drew his weapon and fired two shots."
Police said no weapon was found at the scene, and it appears the man was unarmed. One of the questions that will be examined during the investigation is whether the officer could have used a lesser, alternative method of force to subdue the man.
"Yes, he was equipped with all the appropriately issued police equipment, including Taser," Alexander said. The chief said the officer also had pepper spray at his disposal.
In an effort to be as transparent and as fair as possible, Alexander said he has asked the GBI to conduct the investigation. He said he wants to be as fair as we can to the officer and to the victim who died.
The officer involved, identified by authorities as Robert Olsen, is a seven-year veteran of the force. He will be placed on administrative leave during the investigation, Alexander said.