Two men wearing ski masks were shooting at each other Monday afternoon in the middle of a south DeKalb County street when an off-duty police officer intervened, officials said.
The Lithonia officer, who was working another job, fired on both men, hitting one and sending the other running into a nearby wooded area, according to the GBI. The state agency is investigating the shooting at the request of the Lithonia Police Department.
It happened shortly after 1 p.m., just steps from a small Baptist church, in a residential area near the intersection of Wilkins Road and Wilkins Station Drive. Lithonia police have not released further details about what prompted the two men to begin shooting.
The officer gave commands before he fired, according to the GBI. The injured man, identified by the GBI as 20-year-old Orlando Akaiba Hall of Decatur, was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
“The other man ran into the woods and has not been located,” GBI spokesperson Natalie Ammons said in a news release. “A gun was recovered that Hall had thrown into nearby shrubbery during the incident.”
It was the 102nd officer-involved shooting investigated by the GBI this year. Early on the morning of Nov. 10, the 101st shooting took GBI agents to Richmond County near Augusta after a sheriff’s deputy was injured in a SWAT standoff.
According to the GBI, deputies were initially called to a home on Bungalow Road to investigate a disturbance involving a man with a gun, later identified as 34-year-old Vernon Cratic Jr. Two deputies went inside to speak with Cratic and he began firing, special agent Pat Morgan said.
“The deputies returned fire but did not hit Cratic,” Morgan said in a news release. “During the exchange of gunfire, one of the deputies was shot. Additional units responded to the scene and secured the home until the Richmond County SWAT team arrived.”
During negotiations, Cratic allegedly continued to fire on deputies. He surrendered at about 4 a.m. and was taken to the Charles B. Webster Detention Center in Augusta, where he was being held on five counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and single counts each of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a felon.
The injured deputy was taken to Augusta University Medical Center and was undergoing treatment, Morgan said last week. His condition was not provided.
Officer-involved shootings across the state in 2022 have surpassed those in 2021, when the GBI investigated a total of 100 police shootings.
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