ATLANTA -- Two Atlanta police officers are being debriefed at police headquarters while the man they shot is in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital.
The two were working off duty at Club Opera early Friday morning when they heard about a huge fight in a parking lot near 13th Street and Crescent Ave NE.
The head of security at Sutra Lounge was locking up the back patio when he saw the fight break out. Theodore Tuncel and other witnesses at the scene said the fight started with a group of girls beating up on one man. Others joined in, and soon the fight included 25 people.
"I radioed for them [police] to come down 13th street, and they when they were on their way down when shots started. It was about 15 shots I heard," Tuncel said.
Roger, who didn't want to give his last name, lives in a nearby apartment. He didn't hear the large fight, but he did hear those gunshots. "I heard eight to ten rapid fire shots, " he said. "Then there was a pause, and then more shots. It sounded like a different weapon.
Major Darryl Tolleson from Atlanta Police Major Crimes said one of the men involved in the fight pulled a gun. The off-duty police officers were in uniform, and Tolleson said several witnesses heard them tell the man to drop his weapon. Ten to fifteen shots were fired. Several of them hit the armed man. He was in critical condition when he left the scene for Grady Hospital.
Neither police officer was injured. Both are on administrative leave, which is part of the normal procedure when involved in a shooting.
Crescent Avenue and 13th Street were shut down for several hours while police gathered evidence and interviewed witnesses.
Major Tolleson breifed 11Alive News from the scene: "What these officers confronted tonight was a very chaotic scene, about 25 people in a melee in a parking lot. Anytime you have a police shooting, that's really elevatedd. And we were very concerned about these things, and we want to investigate," he said.
The roads reopened just before 6:00AM.
11Alive's Julie Wolfe has been following new developments on the scene. You can follow her on Twitter @JulieWolfe.