The incident, occurring early Monday morning on Young Street in Buchanan, started when officers with Buchanan Police Department and Haralson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic disturbance in progress.
GBI spokesman John Bankhead said police were responding to a call that a man, whose name has not been released, had attacked a relative at the home after kicking in the door.
When officers were at the scene, the man pulled a hunting knife on the officers.
Buchanan Police Chief Tracy Lambert said officers attempted several avenues to get the suspect to relinquish his weapon, but none were successful.
“The officers did everything they could,” Lambert said. “They attempted non-lethal procedures when presented with a lethal force.”
The police chief said officers attempted to utilize a Taser stun gun on the man, along with verbal commands to stop his aggression and drop the knife.
The man refused to stop and continued aggressively toward the officer, who had retreated as far as he could, Lambert said.
At that point, the officer fired his duty weapon at the man to stop his advance, but that didn’t stop him — he continued to advance on the officer, wielding the knife. The officer re-evaluated the threat, Lambert said, and was forced to fire again, killing the man.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The GBI was called per Buchanan police policy to take over the shooting investigation, Lambert said.
The chief stressed that the officer acted only as he or she could, using deadly force only when it was necessary.
“This is something that nobody wants to go through,” Lambert said. “But it had to be done.”
The incident is still under investigation with the GBI, Lambert said, so names of the suspect and officer in question were released.