A Georgia family is left wondering what happened Tuesday when police shot and killed a 25-year-old man outside his job in Cobb County.
Channel 2 News reports that the victim was Nicolas Thomas, but police have not confirmed his identity.
“I guess now I just want to understand what happened, because I hear so often, and here it is now. I’m a professional, my wife is a professional and we have a kid that’s dead,” Thomas’ father, Huey Thomas, told Channel 2 News.
According to the news station, Cobb County and Smyrna police went to Thomas’ job at Goodyear Tire around 1:30 p.m. to serve him with an arrest warrant for a probation violation. They claim that when Thomas spotted them, he ran toward his car in an attempt to flee. The officers claim that Thomas was driving toward them, which is why they opened fire.
“When you go to serve a suspect who knows that he is wanted, he is unpredictable, and we have to react based on his actions. That’s what we did today,” Sgt. Ed Cason, with the Smyrna Police Department, told Channel 2 News.
But a witness to the shooting told the news station that police opened fire shortly after they arrived and that Thomas wasn’t driving toward them.
“They were standing behind the car, opening fire. He wasn’t driving towards them,” Brittany Eustache, who was inside the Goodyear Tire establishment, told Channel 2 News. “The car was not moving when they begin to shoot at him. The car had been stopped. He hit a curb; he couldn’t go any further.”
Channel 2 news anchor Rachel Stockman asked Eustache, “So at no point was he making any aggressive moves?”
“None, none at all. They immediately opened fire on them,” Eustache said.
Police are still gathering information and have yet to confirm how many of the six officers who were on the scene actually opened fire. Thomas’ parents are left with more questions than answers. They told the news station that they can’t believe they have lost a son over what they describe as a traffic warrant.