ATLANTA - A man was shot and killed by an Atlanta police officer after investigators said he shot a security guard attempting to escort him from a popular Buckhead restaurant on Wednesday evening.
The shooting happened around 7 p.m, inside the Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse in the 3100 block of Piedmont Road NE, just north of East Pace Ferry Road.
"The officer swere responding to a 911 call about an individual was unruly," Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton said, adding that officers also noticed he was armed.
Officer found the man sitting at the bar, police said. Several witnesses said the man was drinking out of a bottle of liquor and had become "rowdy."
The man was asked to leave, but wouldn't. That's when police said the man started to scuffle with the officer and a security guard.
"And all the sudden, it started to escalate, and we started hearing noise and a lot of commotion," a witness told FOX 5.
The officer deployed his Taser, but it was infective. Police said the man ended up being tackled by the security guard. The man then reached for his gun and fired a shot at the security guard, striking him, police said. That is when the officer opened fire.
"When the first two shots were fired, we just all got under the table as safely as we could," one patrol told FOX 5.
Police say an officer-involved shooting happened inside a popular Buckhead restaurant on May 18, 2022. (FOX 5)
"My husband heard some commotion and he said 'I need you to hit the floor,' and he snatched me out of the chair," one woman said adding her husband did this despite just having knee surgery. "And all the sudden, everyone is just stepping over each other, babies are crying, and family, parents are laying on top of babies."
The security guard was rushed to an area hospital in critical, but stable condition.
No one else was injured.
"There were a lot of individuals inside the restaurant but our officers did a great job to isolate the subject to the front of the business where no patrons were in harm's way," Deputy Chief Hampton said.
"We heard so many gunshots and my greatest concern was all of these people are in here," the woman said, adding that the outcome could have been a lot different if the officer hadn't done his job.
A video shared with FOX 5 shows a Grady EMS stretcher inside the bar area of the popular restaurant. Several chairs were overturned and police tape roped off a section of the establishment.
A second video shared with FOX 5 shows at least a person being aided by medics at the scene.
Piedmont Road was blocked from E. Pace Ferry Road to Peachtree Road for several hours while investigators combed over the scene.
The names of those involved have not been released by police.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will handle the investigation of the use of deadly force by the officer and will hand over the results to the Fulton County District Attorney for review.
This shooting comes days after a weekend of violence with two hate-motivated mass shootings on either coast of the country.
"That is so unfortunate that that is what our world is coming to and it's almost like 'where do you go to find safety?'" the woman said.
The woman said she never wants to experience something like this again.
"We come here quite often looking for a nice, peaceful atmosphere, and we've always had that until tonight," she said.
But she tries to for the silver-lining.
"Most importantly, I'm still here," she said.