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Atlanta officer was shot 6 times while trying to arrest Young Slime Life gang member, according to warrants

Police said Monday the officer was in stable condition after being brought to Grady Hospital.

ATLANTA — Arrest warrants allege a member of the Young Slime Life street gang shot an Atlanta Police officer six times in an incident on Monday that left the officer seriously injured and with a "long road of recovery."

The warrants detail both the injuries to the officer and how the incident began.

According to the warrants, 22-year-old Christian Eppinger allegedly shot the Atlanta officer, David Rodgers, four times in his right shoulder, once in his knee and once to the back side of his head.

Police said Monday Rodgers was in stable condition after being brought to Grady Hospital.

RELATED: Atlanta officer shot multiple times, suspect in custody

Credit: APD
APD Officer David Rodgers

According to the warrants, undercover officers were monitoring Eppinger on Monday and requested uniformed officers and marked patrol vehicles for assistance. Eppinger had warrants out for arrest on armed robbery charges.

After observing Eppinger make stops at two locations and then returning to an apartment complex, a uniformed APD officer was first on scene to try to make the arrest when Eppinger allegedly ignored verbal commands to get on the ground.

"Mr. Eppinger pushed (the officer), gaining space between the two at which (the officer) attempted to draw his taser. Before (the officer) could discharge his taser toward Mr. Eppinger, Mr. Eppinger produced a firearm and began shooting at (the officer) multiple times, striking (him) six times including four hits to his right shoulder, one hit above his right knee, and one hit to the back right of his head," the warrants state.

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

At that point, a detective returned fire at Eppinger, according to the warrants, before he fled. Eppinger was later seen running into an apartment unit and then "fugitive units entered the apartment and placed Mr. Eppinger into custody."

Eppinger is now facing attempted murder and criminal street gang activity charges.

APD Deputy Chief Darin Schierbaum spoke about the officer's condition Monday afternoon following the incident.

"He will have a long road of recovery," Schierbaum said. "We are going after individuals who are robbing citizens of this city, who are shooting citizens of this city, and murdering in this city."

Eppinger appeared in court on Tuesday and was denied bond both on the charges related to the officer's shooting and on the original armed robbery charges. A judge ruled that he was likely to re-offend and was a probable flight risk.

According to the warrants, Eppinger had been originally wanted for allegedly robbing someone who'd been filming a rap video at the park behind Cleveland Avenue Library in October. In that incident, Eppinger and another man allegedly stole someone's Rolex watch, iPhone, Gucci wallet and diamond earrings, then later posted about it on social media.

The warrants allege Eppinger is a longstanding member of Young Slime Life, which is said to operate out of strongholds along Cleveland Avenue in Atlanta.

According to APD, Young Slim Life generally is known for "ruthless pedestrian and home invasion style robberies" as well as "drive-by shootings resulting in death and serious injury." Members are also "known to sell and possess illegal narcotics ranging from marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and liquid promethazine/codeine cough syrup."

The warrants also said Eppinger is himself an aspiring rapper under the performing name "Big Bhris." They pointed to a "Big Bhris" YouTube account that has three music videos posted, with titles such as "Homicide" and "Murder on My Mind."

"Numerous videos featuring 'Big Bhris' have been posted on YouTube of which Mr. Eppinger and other documented YSL gang members wearing YSL clothing can be observed displaying firearms and throwing up YSL gang hand signs pledging their allegiance to the gang and taunting rival gang members," the warrant states.

It adds that YSL members "affectionately call themselves 'Slime' because of their willingness to victimize associates and friends just as quickly as they would a stranger."

According to the warrants, following the shooting of the officer Young Slime Life members were "observed on social media bragging about a police officer being shot on 'Bleveland Avenue' and giving recognition and gratitude to Mr. Eppinger for his actions."

APD said Rodgers has been with the department since Sept. 2011.

 

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