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Athens officers kill man who 'charged' at them with knife

ACCPD Police Chief Cleveland Spruill is flanked at a press conference from left to right by Deputy Chief Mike Hunsinger, GBI Special Agent in Charge Jesse Maddox, and Deputy Chief Jeff Clark

By Joe Johnson

Athens-Clarke County police Monday afternoon shot and killed a man who they said charged at officers with a knife.

During a press conference at the east police precinct Police Chief Cleveland Spruill said that the incident occurred shortly before 12:30 p.m. when officers responded to several calls from the River Club apartment complex off Macon Highway that a man who was covered in blood was holding a knife and acting erratically.

The man ignored officers’ commands to drop the knife and continued to advance on them, Spruill said, and as the officers retreated and continued to tell the man to drop the knife, the man “charged” at the officers, two of whom shot the man several times.

The man died at the scene, Spruill said. His name was being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Although the River Club is an off-campus student housing complex, Spruill said that the victim was not a student.According to Spruill, the man was covered in his own blood and officers did not locate any victims he might have stabbed.

Spruill described the man as Asian and in his 20s. Although he did not live at the River Club, Spruill said he was known to frequent the complex.

In accordance with departmental policy, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was asked to investigate the incident, according to Spruill.

The two officers who discharged their weapons were placed on paid administrative leave pending the findings of a preliminary investigation, the police chief said.

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