Man with knife shot by police officer at Woodruff Park - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man with knife shot by police officer at Woodruff Park in Atlanta

Toni Richardson Toni Richardson
Google Map of Woodruff Park Google Map of Woodruff Park
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

One person was shot by police at Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon after attacking another officer with a knife.

Video of the shooting was captured and provided to CBS46 by a witness. The video is graphic and unedited.

"He ran into another officer and they struggled," witness Barry said. "That's when she (officer) knew it was time to put him down because somebody is about to get cut. By that time the other officer moved out the way and then she put him down."

The shooting occurred at 1 Park Place and Edgewood Avenue SE, outside the Georgia State University police station, just before 4 p.m.

According to John Chafee with Atlanta police, an Atlanta police officer, later identified as Toni Richardson, tried to stop a man who appeared to be drinking in Woodruff Park.

The man continued to walk and was eventually stopped by a Georgia State University police officer who was in plain clothes, according to Chafee. The man was stopped outside the GSU police station.

Chafee said that the man pulled out a large butcher knife and assaulted the GSU officer with it.

In a press conference Wednesday evening, APD Capt. Paul Guerrucci said the knife was 14 inches long.

"The suspect actually attacked the Georgia State University officer stabbing him in the back," Guerrucci said.

Richardson, who originally tried to stop the man in the park, shot the man with the knife after he assaulted the GSU officer.

"The subject appears to have been shot in the lower torso," said Guerrucci. "One shot appears to have been fired.

The man with the knife and the GSU officer were both taken to the hospital in stable condition, according to Chafee.

A spokesperson with Georgia State University police said the university police officer was released from the hospital Wednesday night and is at home recovering.

Witnesses at the scene told CBS46 reporter Vince Sims that the man was given several warnings before he was shot.

"That lady told him plenty of times," witness Montez Bullock said. "I know a lot of people may not agree with it but, she told him plenty of times. I believe the officer was right."

Atlanta police say initial findings show this was justified use of force in shooting the man with the knife.

"When an officer witnesses anybody attacked with a 14 inch butcher knife and the individual is actually injured as a result of that attack that would be considered justifiable use of force," Guerrucci said.

Students in the area tell CBS46 they feel safe in the area.

"Stuff like this happens, but it happens in every major city," GSU student Cole Waldron said. "There's crime when there is poverty. Until more work is done to eradicate poverty we are going to have the same type of stuff happening."

Georgia State University issued a text alert notifying students of the shooting, asking them to stay out of the area. The text read:

GSU ALERT: University Police is working a crime scene at 15 Edgewood Ave. Please stay away from the scene. The incident is under control. No action is required.

CBS46 obtained a copy of the alert through Twitter.

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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