A police officer was killed by an armed suspect while responding to a domestic violence call late Tuesday in suburban Atlanta, authorities said. Three others, including the suspected gunman, died in related incidents.
The Clayton County Police Department received multiple calls about possible gunfire, domestic violence and people injured at a residence near the 3600 block of Jervis Court in Rex at 8:40 p.m., Chief Kevin Roberts said during a press conference early Wednesday.
Officers at the scene were met by a 12-year-old boy who was shot in the face and led them to the home, which is about 18 miles south of Atlanta.
Upon arriving at the residence, “they were immediately engaged by a male suspect who was armed with a handgun and fired upon them," Roberts said.
The officers took cover and the suspect fled to the rear of the residence, where he was met by tactical units. According to police, the suspect opened fire, striking two officers.
Clayton County Field Training Officer Henry Laxson was killed and Officer Alex Chandler was shot in the hand, the department said in a press release.
The suspect was killed during an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement, Roberts said.
Police also discovered the bodies of two women who the suspect killed prior to engaging with the officers, Roberts said.
The 12-year-old is in the hospital in critical condition.
The other victims of the shootings have not been identified because their relatives have not been notified.
"These men and women do an honorable job every day and it’s unfortunate that we have to make these reports time and time again," Roberts said. "My heart aches for every police officer and their family that go through these types of things. These things just shouldn’t happen."
One neighbor told NBC affiliate WXIA of Atlanta that the shootings shocked residents of the area.
"This is our neighborhood, this is like a community," the neighbor said. "It's never been like this. This is like the first time this has ever happened."
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said they were assisting the Clayton County Police Department at the scene late Tuesday.
"The Clayton County Police Department is investigating the triple shooting incident. The GBI will continue to conduct an independent investigation of the officer involved shooting and once complete, the case will be given the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office for review," the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement Wednesday.