WAYCROSS, Ga. - Two teenage boys were arrested on gun charges and other counts after a Georgia police officer attempting a traffic stop fired multiple gunshots at their car, according to police.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation of the incident Saturday morning in Waycross near the Georgia-Florida state line. Two boys, ages 16 and 15, were inside the car when a Waycross police officer approaching from the front opened fire, saying the vehicle had begun driving toward him, the GBI said.
Nobody was hurt by the gunfire. Before the shooting started, three younger children — ages 14, 12 and 9 — ran from the vehicle, the GBI said in a news release. The agency said the officer who opened fire had come to assist another Waycross officer who began following the car for several minutes after witnessing the driver fail to stop at a stop sign.
"At this time, there is no evidence to indicate that the second officer that fired the shots at the vehicle driving towards him shot at or near the three children that ran home," the GBI said in a statement.
A statement from Waycross police said two officers have been placed on administrative leave while the GBI investigates, which is customary in Georgia.
Waycross police also said both teenagers inside the car were arrested on charges of illegal possession of a firearm by a minor. The 16-year-old driver was also charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, reckless driving, running a stop sign and driving without a license.
The 15-year-old passenger was also charged with additional crimes of obstruction of a police officer and attempting to remove an officer’s firearm, according to the statement from Waycross police, which did not release the boys’ names.
The GBI says that it has only been able to speak with one of the three younger children who ran from the scene.
"We have made several attempts to interview the other two, but have not been granted an interview," the law enforcement organization said in a statement.
Atlanta attorney Gerald Griggs, a vice president of the city’s NAACP chapter, said the Georgia NAACP wants police to immediately release body camera and dash camera footage of the attempted traffic stop. The GBI has said that there is no video that captured the incident, however.
If you have any knowledge of the shooting, please call the GBI at (912) 389-4103.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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