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GBI releases body cam footage, other information about fatal OIS of man armed with butcher knife

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Chelsea Prince, Asia Simone Burns
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The GBI has identified the man who was fatally shot by Athens-Clarke County police officers Monday after reportedly wielding a knife and acting “erratically.”

Aaron Hong, 23, was shot multiple times by officers who said he charged at them with a butcher knife, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said in a statement Tuesday.

The shooting happened at 1005 Macon Highway near the River Club apartment complex, which is located just south of the Athens bypass.

Officers were sent to the location just before 12:30 p.m. after receiving multiple calls about a man acting “erratically” holding a knife and covered in blood, Athens-Clarke County police Chief Cleveland Spruill said in a news conference Monday afternoon.

Hong was still holding the knife when three Athens officers encountered him, Spruill said. The GBI said Hong was “using the knife in an aggressive manner and appeared to be injured himself.” Investigators said the blood Hong was drenched in was his own.

Spruill said the officers tried multiple times to get Hong to drop the knife.

“However, he disregarded these commands and began to advance at the officers,” Spruill said.

At some point, the man charged toward the officers. Miles said an officer fired his gun multiple times, hitting Hong.

“Hong managed to get back up and during the confrontation attempted to grab one of the officers’ weapons,” Miles said.

That’s when a second officer fired at Hong multiple times.

Hong was treated by paramedics, but ultimately died of his injuries.

One officer suffered a minor injury and was treated at the scene, Spruill said.

The officers who fired shots are on administrative leave pending an investigation, Spruill said.

River Club markets itself as a community designed specifically for UGA students.

This is the 39th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2019.

In other news:

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8 COMMENTS

    • he attacked the other officer when the other officer went to swap his gun for the taser leaving the other officer unprotected – which is when the perp decided to attack the officer and try and get his gun.

  1. After being shot the one officer holstered his weapon and thus got himself in a bind when the man charged at him..after being shot again and officer was removed you can see that the man was still moving toward the end of video. I understand why they shoot to kill not wound them in the leg.

  2. Why did they not get the Taser out when they arrived and put him on his back? It’s all very well being polite and asking him to drop the knife, but at the end of the day he’s still dead!

    • Not every police officer can carry a taser since there are standards they have to meet to be able to carry one. Please inform yourself first before making a comment

      • To use a Taser effectively you need to be within 10 to 13 feet, this short distance is unsafe when the offender has a knife, the offender can cover that distance in a shorter time than and officer can draw.Tasers are not a panacea they don’t work every time, for the Taser to be effective the spread of the probes must be right and both probes must make contact with the person otherwise they don’t work. With a knife involved the risk can be too great at that close the distance. That being said, after being shot the first time you can see the offender leaves the knife on the road, so one officer chooses another force option and selects the Taser. The now unarmed shot offender is up and moving so when he charges the other officer what option does he have. 1 shoot an unarmed offender, not a great option or 2. Holster and attempt to go with another use of force option. All of this decision making done in and instant. I say great job done under difficult circumstances, and not one of us can say what we would have done as we were not there.

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