DALTON, Ga. — An "agitated man" in a tussle with a Dalton Police officer tried to take his taser and use it against him moments before that officer was forced to shoot, officials said.
It happened Monday morning near the Sonoco plant on Abutment Road.
According to a preliminary investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Whitfield 911 Center began to receive calls relating to an "agitated man" at the corner of Abutment Road and Callahan Road around 9 a.m. The reports indicated the man was stopping cars and running into the street.
When Dalton Police arrived, they encountered 32-year-old David Schmitt of Dalton.
When the first officer arrived and approached Schmitt, officials said he physically attacked the officer. During that attack, the officer reportedly tased Schmitt.
According to the GBI, as the altercation continued, Schmitt obtained the officer's taser and attempted to use it on the officer.
The officer retreated in order to create some distance from Schmitt, but investigators said the 32-year-old continued to charge toward the officer and attempt to fire the taser at the officer.
At that point, according to the GBI, the officer fired his service weapon several times at Schmitt, striking him.
Schmitt was transported to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The officer sustained minor injuries during the incident.
Sharon Burgess told Chattanooga NBC affiliate WRCB that the shooting happened in a matter of minutes.
"I went in to get a cigarette and come back out and that's how quick it happened. I heard the three shots," she said.
"The way he was hunkered down, it looked like he was fixin' to sneak attack on the cop, you know what I mean," she added.
The unidentified officer will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the GBI.
The GBI will continue its independent investigation. Once they have concluded their investigation, it will be turned over to the Whitfield County District Attorney for review.
According to GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles, this is the 45th officer-involved shooting the agency has been asked to investigate in 2019.
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