The death of a 27-year-old man following a police shooting Friday night in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta has sparked an investigation and protests.
The shooting occurred just after 10:30 p.m. after two Atlanta police officers were called for a report of a man asleep in the drive-thru, which forced customers to go around his vehicle, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is conducting a probe into the shooting.
The GBI identified the man who died as Rayshard Brooks.
Officers administered a field sobriety test to Brooks at the Wendy’s, which he failed, authorities said.
GBI director Vic Reynolds said at a news conference Saturday afternoon that Brooks, who was Black, was under investigation by Atlanta police for a suspected DUI in the incident.
As police attempted to arrest Brooks, he resisted and a struggle ensued, according to the GBI.
“During the course of that confrontation, Mr. Brooks was able to secure from one of the Atlanta officers, his Taser,” Reynolds said.
The incident was captured on video and shows Brooks appearing to run from the officers with the Taser in his hand, Reynolds said.
After running a short distance, Brooks “turns around and it appears to the eye that he points the Taser at the Atlanta officer,” the director said.
“At that point, the Atlanta officer reaches down and retrieves his weapon from his holster, discharges it, strikes Mr. Brooks there on the parking lot, and he goes down.”
Reynolds said a witness was able to corroborate the information.
Brooks was taken to a hospital where he died after undergoing surgery. An officer was also injured in the incident and released from the hospital, a GBI release states.
The officers involved in the shooting have been removed from duty pending the outcome of the investigation, according to NBC affiliate WXIA in Atlanta. Their names have not been released.
The Atlanta Police Department could not immediately be reached by NBC News on Saturday.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. said in a statement Saturday that the GBI will turn over its findings to his department, but that his office has already launched its own “intense, independent investigation of the matter.”
“Lastly, our thoughts and our sympathies are extended to the family of Rayshard Brooks as we must not forget that this investigation is centered upon a loss of life.”
In cellphone video posted on social media by people who said they were at the scene, Brooks appears to be on the ground struggling with two officers before getting up and running away.
One of the officers appears to use a stun gun while running after Brooks. Moments later, gunshots can be heard.
Reynolds said the agency will digitally enhance video taken at the scene and plans to release it to the public later on Saturday.
“We want everyone to see what we have seen in this case. And that’s why, again, I would ask for some patience. I don’t want anyone, in any circumstances, to rush to any form of judgment.,” he said.
A crowd of people gathered at the scene to peacefully protest the shooting on Saturday. The Georgia NAACP called for Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to relieve Police Chief Erika Shields of duty.
“The body cam footage and all surveillance video from surrounding buildings need to be released immediately,” the organization tweeted Saturday. “@Atlanta_Police has had a culture of excessive use of force. Now #RayshardBrooks is dead. We demand immediate accountability.”
This is the 48th officer-involved shooting in 2020 that the GBI has been asked to investigate, the agency told NBC News.
Matthew Mulligan and Shamar Walters contributed.