MONROE, Ga. - A Monroe police officer shot and killed a man Thursday morning after the man pointed what police thought was a weapon at officers and refused to turn it over, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesperson said.
The shooting took place just before 9 a.m. at 409 East Marable Street after two Monroe officers responded to a call about a man with a gun.
At a Thursday afternoon news conference, GBI Public Affairs Director Nelly Miles said the officers found a man wearing what may have been a shower curtain and holding a gun.
Miles said when the officers approached the man, he pointed the weapon at them.
After the officers ordered him to turn over the weapon and he didn’t do so, Miles said one of the officers fired his gun at the man, striking him in the chest.
"I mean it happened so quick. You know when the individual took the overt act to point the weapon towards the officer, the officer had no choice but to defend himself," said Chief R.V. Watts, Monroe Police Department.
Medics rushed the man, identified as 63-year-old Malone Edward Summerhour, to an area hospital where he later died.
Miles said what Summerhour was holding turned out to be a replica machine gun.
Chief Watts contacted the GBI to request, they take over the investigation.
The chief told FOX 5’s Morse Diggs and other reporters he had reviewed video of the incident.
"I had reviewed the video. And I feel very comfortable with the officer's actions that were taken in this," the chief said.
Chief Watts asked the public to keep the officers and the family of the dead man in their prayers.
"Everybody please keep not only these officers in their prayers but keep the family of the deceased in their prayers. It's an unfortunate event," Watts said.
Miles said once the GBI completes its investigation, the agency will turn over its findings to the office of Walton County District Attorney Layla Zon.
Meanwhile, the family of the veteran gathered.
"He battled with mental illness from the military but when he would get off his medicine he would do outlandish kind of stuff but the people around here in the neighborhood kind of knew him so they would kind of I guess throw their arms around him or tell him to go home or whatever, but this morning was so early that nobody was out," said Edwin Summerour, son of suspect.
Edwin, one of three children, said his dad was known to most as the country guy with the goats and the chickens.
"Grandmother done bought a farm and um, so most of my younger years I grew up around chickens and stuff like that so he uh tried to bring some of that country living to our community, " said Summerour.
No word yet on funeral plans.