Georgia police officer shot, killed near school

SNELLVILLE, Ga. — A police officer in Gwinnett County, Georgia, was shot and killed while answering a call about a suspicious vehicle on Saturday afternoon, according to a department spokesman.

Officer Antwan Toney, who had just turned 30, was responding with another officer to a call of possible marijuana use, said Jake Smith of the Gwinnett County Police Department.

“There was no particular red flags in this call,” Smith said.

Toney was shot at from inside the vehicle as soon as he approached the car in a parking lot at a middle school. He was hit one time. His partner dragged him away, Smith said, and he died at a hospital.

The suspect’s four-door black sedan sped away and crashed about a mile away. There were as many as four people inside the car, Smith said. There are no suspects in custody.

Chief of Police Butch Ayers said investigators were talking to multiple “persons of interest.” Ayers didn’t say when authorities classified them that way. He added that no warrants had been issued in the case.

Smith said the shooting happened so quickly the officers did not have time to draw their guns. Other officers who had responded as backups fired on the car’s occupants, but it is unclear whether any were hit or how many shots were fired.

Detectives were still processing evidence from the car.

Police presence was heavy Saturday evening in neighborhoods a few miles east of Stone Mountain. A helicopter flew above the vicinity of the middle school.

Toney had been with the department for almost three years.

Ayers said, “Colleagues recall a very jovial person who was dedicated to his job.”

Gwinnett County is in the metropolitan Atlanta area and has 920,000 residents.

Toney’s death was the second fatal shooting of a law enforcement officer this week. North Carolina State Trooper Kevin K. Conner was killed Wednesday during a traffic stop near the border with South Carolina. A suspect was taken into custody.

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