ATLANTA — A Midtown apartment building turned into a frantic crime scene Wednesday afternoon where shots rang out on the 8th floor, leaving an officer wounded and a suspect dead.
Atlanta Police called the crime an ambush. They said two officers responded to a call about shots fired. But as soon as the elevator doors open when they arrived - gunfire erupted against them.
Officer Khuong Thai was identified as the officer shot in the face. A day after the shooting, 11Alive gained access to the area where the ambush happened on Peachtree Street at the Solace on Peachtree Apartments.
Photos show traffic cones with caution tape still sitting near the area where the shooting took place.
Our 11Alive crew said noise filled the hallways of other floors - but this one was quiet.
You could also see bullet holes in one of the doors on the 8th floor. Court records show the gunman in the shooting lived in unit 820.
Those who know Thai describe the officer as dedicated to the job.
About one year ago, Officer Thai met Atlanta Police Officer Jon Grubbs who works for Zone 5. Since day one, Grubbs said he's been a very hard-working officer.
"Really the kind of attitude you want to see in a police officer," he told 11Alive. "He's always willing to back people up. If he sees you on something, he'll stop by and say do you need anything?"
The suspect who allegedly fired at Thai, was identified Thursday as 29-year-old Joseph Lee Humbles, was killed in the incident. According to APD, the suspect was involved in a shooting with another man before police arrived. The man sustained non-life threatening injuries, officials said.
Officer Thai was said to be in stable condition after the incident on Wednesday. He was taken to the hospital with injuries that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said were not life-threatening.
"That's always a call no police officer wants to hear," said Grubbs. "We never want to hear that in general - to anybody - but when it happens to a fellow brother or sister, it adds a little more emotion to it."
Witness videos showed a chaotic scene of the aftermath as other police carried the wounded officer down the street.
"When we had gotten word that his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, that was the best news ever," said Grubbs. "That was such a huge relief for me and all of my teammates."
While Grubbs hasn't gotten the chance to talk to his colleague yet, he said Thai has been able to communicate with his department.
"He did reach out and sent a general message to everybody, letting everybody know he really appreciates the support and that he's doing well," he added.
Grubbs wasn't at the scene during the incident Wednesday but said he's looking forward to giving Thai a hug when he sees his brother again.
The shooting is still under investigation.