Man’s death after police shooting outside Wendy’s in Atlanta sparks investigation and protests

Protestors gather on University Ave near a Wendy’s restaurant, Saturday, June 13, 2020 in Atlanta.

Steve Schaefer | Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

The death of a 27-year-old man who died following a police shooting Friday night in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta has sparked an investigation and protests.

The shooting occurred just after 10:30 p.m. after Atlanta police were called for a report of a man asleep in the drive-thru, forcing customers to go around his vehicle, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The GBI identified the man who died as Rayshard Brooks.

Officers responding to the Wendy’s administered a field sobriety test to Brooks, which the GBI says he failed. During an attempted arrest, he resisted and a struggle ensued, the agency said.

“The officer deployed a Taser. Witnesses report that during the struggle the male subject grabbed and was in possession of the Taser,” according to the GBI’s press release. “It has also been reported that the male subject was shot by an officer in the struggle over the Taser.”

Brooks was taken to the hospital where he died after undergoing surgery. An officer was also injured in the incident and released from the hospital, the release states.

Two officers who were involved in the shooting have been removed from duty pending the outcome of the investigation, according to NBC affiliate WXIA in Atlanta. Their names have not been released.

The Atlanta Police Department could not immediately be reached by NBC News.

The GBI said Saturday that it had no further comment, and was aware of video posted on social media that captured the incident.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. said in a statement Saturday that the GBI will turn over its findings to his department, but that his office has already launched its own “intense, independent investigation of the matter.”

“Lastly, our thoughts and our sympathies are extended to the family of Rayshard Brooks as we must not forget that this investigation is centered upon a loss of life.”

In cellphone video posted on social media by people who said they were at the scene, Brooks appears to be on the ground struggling with two officers before getting up and running away.

One of the officers appears to use a stun gun while running after Brooks. Moments later, gunshots can be heard.

A crowd of people gathered at the scene to peacefully protest the shooting on Saturday. The Georgia NAACP called for Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to relieve Police Chief Erika Shields of duty.

“The body cam footage and all surveillance video from surrounding buildings need to be released immediately,” the organization  Saturday. “@Atlanta_Police has had a culture of excessive use of force. Now #RayshardBrooks is dead. We demand immediate accountability.”

This is the 48th officer-involved shooting in 2020 that the GBI has been asked to investigate, the agency told NBC News.