The GBI is investigating an officer involved shooting in Lithonia, GA. The DeKalb County Police Department asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. One man died in the incident.
Preliminary information indicates that at around 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, deputies with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office were attempting to locate and arrest Edward Gatling, age 38. Police had issued arrest warrants in DeKalb County charging Gatling with aggravated assault and domestic violence. Police had information that Gatling was at an apartment complex in Lithonia, GA. As the deputies approached the apartment, shots were fired from the apartment, hitting two of the deputies. Gatling ran from the apartment into woods nearby carrying a rifle and backpack. Responding officers rendered aid to the injured deputies and began setting up a perimeter to contain Gatling. The injured deputies were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police carried out an extensive multi-agency search effort and Gatling was eventually spotted at around 1:15 pm along a creek that passes under Covington Highway. Police approached Gatling, ordered Gatling to put his rifle down and show his hands. Gatling fired at the officers. Officers from multiple agencies fired shots at Gatling. Gatling was hit by gunfire and died at the scene.
No officers were injured in the exchange of gunfire.
The GBI will continue to conduct an independent investigation of the officer involved shooting incident. Once completed, the case will be given to the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office for review.