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Man firing weapon shot, killed by Cobb County officer, police say

The man's next-door neighbors said his young daughter and parents were home when the shooting happened.

MABLETON, Ga. — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into a shooting involving Cobb County Police that left one man dead.

The Cobb County Police Department said officers were sent to a domestic dispute on Heritage Lakes Court just after 11:30 a.m. Saturday. 

Police said a man armed with a gun was making threats toward other people at the location. Once they arrived, police added that the man began shooting inside the residence.

That's when officers said they shot back, killing the suspect. Cobb County Police added that no officers were injured during the shooting.

"I happened to look out the front door and saw a bunch of police in my backyard," Reginald Walden, who lives next door to the home, explained.

His wife, Grendel, noted added that, in addition to police, she saw a bunch of AR-15s and heard "a bunch of screaming and yelling." That was before she saw police at their front door.

"I'm opening my front door, and they're like, 'You can't go anywhere.' Then I'm like, 'Oh, my God,' and I see his mom, his daughter and everybody being ushered out of the house. I hear all kinds of screaming and yelling and hollering, and then I hear two gunshots," she said.

Grendel explained that the man lived at the home with his young daughter, and his parents were visiting at the time of the shooting. 

"He was trying to get it right," she said. "He loved his daughter, loved her so much. I heard her screaming. She was screaming, 'I can't live without my dad.'"

The Waldens said their next-door neighbor came over around 2 a.m., but after he started acting erratically, they asked him to leave. 

"He was starting to get a little aggressive, brandishing his gun, and doing a little crypt sign," Grendel said. 

"He was having some financial problems and just got custody of his daughter earlier in the year, so that was taking a toll on him," Reginald added. 

Cobb County Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer said the department is seeing an increase in violence like this, noting that since COVID, there has been "a sharp increase in violent crime."

The Waldens are still in a state of shock that violence crime literally happened next door. A SWAT van, police cars, and a sea of crime scene taped lined the normally peaceful neighborhood. 

"He lives right next door, so it's pretty scary," Reginald said, while Grendel remarked "He was a good person. He had a good heart, and I love him, and I'm sad that he's gone.". 

As for now, the department said the GBI will continue to investigate, which is standard procedure. The GBI hasn't formally released the name of the man killed. However, the Waldens said he was in his late 30s, and his daughter is around seven years old. 

*The story has been updated to better reflect the corrected timeline given by officers.

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