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GBI investigating after man shot, killed in struggle with Covington officers
Covington police

COVINGTON, Ga. — State law enforcement officials are investigating after a Covington Police officer shot and killed a 43-year-old man as he struggled to take an officer's Taser weapon Wednesday night.

The Covington Police Department asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting incident in which Johnny Michael Gilbert later died at an area hospital, the agency reported. 

GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles said preliminary information the agency received indicated that someone called the Covington-Newton County 911 Center Wednesday, Nov. 3, at around 8:50 p.m. about a domestic violence incident at 8189 Spillers Road in southwest Covington. 

Covington Police officers responded and met a female resident who said Gilbert left the residence just before officers arrived. The officers then made sure the resident did not need medical care and asked her to call 911 again if Gilbert returned, Miles said. 

"The 911 center received a second call at 10:26 p.m. stating that Gilbert had returned and was violent," the spokesperson said.  

Officers responded again and met Gilbert outside the residence. As they were attempting to detain the suspect, Gilbert began to violently resist, Miles said. 

"One of the officers fired a Taser at Gilbert, but it was ineffective," she said. 

As officers struggled with Gilbert, he removed an officer’s Taser weapon and began to rise to his feet — prompting one of the officers to fire a handgun at Gilbert and hit him at least once.  

Gilbert was treated at the scene and transported to a nearby hospital where he later died, Miles said.  

"The GBI will continue to conduct an independent investigation. Once complete, the casefile will be provided to the Newton County District Attorney’s Office for review," Miles said. 

The Covington Police Department is investigating the domestic incident, she said.    

This is the 83rd officer-involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2021.