By The Advocate News
A tragic officer-involved shooting in a Canton neighborhood was investigated by the GBI on Wednesday morning.
About 2:20 a.m., Canton police officers were dispatched to the Towne Mill community off Fate Conn Road to investigate a suspicious person report. Gunshots rang out in the 700 block of Midway Avenue after some sort of altercation. According to preliminary accounts from police, one individual was murdered and no cops were hurt.
The GBI has been asked to take over the investigation by the Canton Police Department, and the state agency is anticipated to provide further details on Wednesday.
Gary Atkins, who has lived in the subdivision for approximately four years, said the sound of his dog howling at a window shook him and his wife awake around 2:15 a.m.
From outside his home, Atkins told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “My wife walked to this here window and as she tried to raise the blind she heard a gunshot.” “And she could see the policeman approaching a body sprawled in the yard when she looked outside.”
Canton police, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, and the GBI all had vehicles on the normally quiet street, according to Atkins. During the nighttime inquiry, no one was allowed to leave or enter the neighborhood unless they were escorted by police, he added.
“It’s been a little surprising,” Atkins remarked. “It has in fact.”
Another neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said Towne Mill has seen its share of petty crimes. Recently, two men were caught on video surveillance jumping the fence at the community pool and stealing a pressure washer, and police have investigated strings of vehicle break-ins in the past.
In a large neighborhood, such crimes are to be expected, the man said. But he found the deadly shooting alarming.
“This is a good neighborhood with a good heart, so it kind of breaks your heart to think something like this is going on,” he said. “Obviously, a loss of life is a loss of life. At the end of the day, it’s just sad for everything, all around.”
Officer-involved shooting is a term used by the GBI and can be broadly applied in any number of situations. The AJC will update this language as more details emerge. The GBI has developed a system that can be used in a variety of scenarios. As new information becomes available, the AJC will update this language.