ATLANTA - The off-duty Georgia State University police officer shot back in July during an attempted robbery speaks out for the first time.
LaToya Crook said she would have given the thief her $20, but the off-duty campus cop said the criminal panicked and began shooting.
Authorities said the encounter happened around 9:30 p.m. in the 1400 block of Donnelly Ave in southwest Atlanta on Oct. 3. Investigators said the female officer and a friend were walking down Donnelly Avenue when two guys, one on foot and the other riding a bicycle, tried to hold them up.
Crook, who patrols for Georgia State University, ended up taking two shots. She was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital. Fortunately, neither one life-threatening.
The armed robber did not know he was targeting an officer when he rode up on a woman he saw carrying a bag of groceries. While Crook was in civilian clothes, the butt of her gun was showing in her pants pocket. She believed the thief saw that and chose to abort the robbery and start shooting. Crook was struck in the hand and the stomach.
Doctors patched her up and she soon got back to the GSU campus.
It was the first time Crook had such a run in. She said she was calm. Where did the calmness come from?
"It's just something had to deal with," she said.
Officials released a sketch of one of the suspects in August.
Anyone with information on this shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers. Information can be submitted anonymously to the Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or online at crimestoppersatlanta.org. Persons do not have to give their name or any identifying information to be eligible for the reward of up to $2,000 for the arrest and indictment of the suspects.