DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A traffic stop turned violent in DeKalb County. Police said a driver who had been pulled over for a seatbelt violation, pulled out a gun, and fired at officers. The officers returned fire.
DeKalb County Police Chief James Conroy said two motorcycle officers were on traffic enforcement detail in the 5000 block of Memorial Drive around 2 p.m. Chief Conroy said they pulled over the driver of an SUV because he wasn't wearing a seatbelt. Police said when the officers ran his license they discovered he had multiple outstanding warrants and told the driver to get out of the vehicle. Chief Conroy said that's when the officers saw a gun tucked into the waistband of the driver's pants.
"The driver reached for the handgun, pulled it out and a struggle ensued over the handgun. During the struggle, the suspect discharged at least one round from the gun, officers returned fire striking the suspect several times," said Chief Conroy.
The driver was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. His name has not been released.
The names of the officers were not released, but they were not injured.
Chief Conroy said there's no such thing as a routine traffic stop.
"Traffic stops are one of the most dangerous things we do. This stop was for not having a seatbelt, which you would get a very minimal fine or a warning, and it escalated. Fortunately, both officers are okay, the suspect is in critical condition, we do pray for him as well," said Chief Conroy.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been requested to review the officer-involved shooting. The officers have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing, which is standard procedure.
This is the second officer-involved shooting to happen in the metro Atlanta area Wednesday. Earlier, members of the Atlanta Police Department's SWAT Team exchanged fire with two suspects on Moreland Avenue at the intersection of the road and Memorial Drive.