New Details About Police Involved Shooting

GCPD says James Clark walked towards officers with a rifle pointed towards them after several requests for him to put his weapon down.


Lawrenceville Patch has obtained new information about Thursday evening's on Trophy Trail in unincorporated Lawrenceville.

According to Cpl. Jake Smith, officers responded to a call from a friend of James Clark saying Clark was suicidal. The friend told dispatchers Clark had cut himself with a knife and was armed with a gun and had already fired two shots. Clark told his friend he needed to leave because it was not safe for him to be there.

The first officers arrived to the home at 556 Trophy Trail at 6:41pm. Eight minutes later, Smith says Clark came out of his home holding a deer rifle with a mounting scope. Officers attempted to negotiate with Clark for the next 14 minutes and ordered him to drop his weapon several times. Clark did put down the rifle at one point, but picked it up again moments later. The man then climbed on to the roof of a car outside the carport and began yelling at the officers.

At 7:03pm, Clark started walking towards the officers with his rifle pointed at them. Two officers fired shots and killed Clark.

About 15 minutes later, Clark's parents and brother arrived on the scene very upset. In a release, Smith said "the family’s behavior was given special consideration due to the circumstances." Clark's mother tried to go around the police tape after being refused entry to the crime scene several times by officers. She was taken away from the scene but not arrested.

However, Clark's brother Robert and father Thomas shouted profanities and threats to the officers on the scene. After this continued, and charged with disorderly conduct. They were released from the Gwinnett County Detention Center just before 1am Friday.

GCPD says the two officers who fired the shots have been placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure in officer involved shootings.

An investigation into the shooting is being conducted by the Deadly Force Investigation Team, which consists of investigators from the Internal Affairs Unit, the Homicide Unit, the Crime Scene Unit, the Medical Examiner’s Office, and the District Attorney’s Office.

In January, GCPD officers were .

Do you think the officers should have fired the shots that killed Clark? Tell us in the comments section below.

DEBORAH STORM May 25, 2012 at 02:25 AM
this was definitely abuse of power. The police dept. should have had trained cops who know how to deal with the mentally ill onsite and swat. I know for a fact that they have the capability. This is the 3rd fatal shooting in gwinnett by cops in the last 6 mos. how many more have to die at the hands of Gwinnett Co PD before people pay attention? suicide is no different than any other illness...if you have cancer you get treatment, if you are suicidal, you get treatment. you are not supposed to be killed on the spot. I want to know why gwinnett co pd got involved in a case in walton and stayed ALL NITE LONG for a suicidal man when they only took 15 min. to shoot and kill JAMES CLARK? i know, i was on site at the suicidal person's home in walton...now why did gwinnett spend money going to walton to help with police, dogs, helicopters from approx 9 pm until 7 am? but they only take 15 min of time on this case? he did not have a real gun, he had a bb gun. i don't think for a minute that he pointed a real gun at any officer. just another case of bad judgement on the PD's part as in the CHRISTOPHER KENNEY and DAWNTRAE WILLIAMS case. wake up GWINNETT before your child, brother, sister is next.
DEBORAH STORM May 25, 2012 at 02:27 AM
the case in walton county that i referred to previously, the man was unharmed and not even arrested. WHAT IS WRONG WITH GWINNETT CO PD NOWADAYS? did they just overspend their budget on funds for utilities for the fancy courthouse? now they shoot to kill rather than do the right thing?
Alex Everett May 25, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Shoot-to-kill IS the right thing, when a suspect is a threat to your safety. I've never heard THAT much stupidity from one person. Good job, Deborah.
DEBORAH STORM May 25, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Alex.....will see what happens in the three investigations of fatal shootings in such a short time frame, then see whos stupid. I do not believe the officers were threatened in all three cases
Vanzetta Evans May 25, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Look at this photo from the GCPD training members of the media took part in. He's holding two guns. One's his son's toy rifle an the other is the GCPD issued riffle. The only way you can tell the difference is the orange tip on the toy. But he said there have been times where a suspect will paint the tip on the toy black or the tip of the real one orange. They also explained why they can't just shoot someone in the arm or leg. http://lawrenceville-ga.patch.com/articles/taser-demonstration#photo-9905658


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