A fourth officer has been placed on administrative leave in connection with the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Buford man on Dec. 4. Three officers had already been placed on leave following the Tuesday night incident.
Placing an officer on administrative leave is normal procedure in shooting cases, explained Gwinnett County Police public information officer Cpl. Jake Smith.
On Wednesday afternoon, police released new details regarding the investigation.
Shortly after 8 p.m. on Dec. 4, Gwinnett County Police were dispatched to a small apartment complex in response a report of people smoking marijuana. Upon arrival, officers encountered a group of five people in the parking lot.
One of those individuals, 20-year-old Jose Antonio Hernandez-Gonzalez of Buford, produced a handgun.
"Once Hernandez produced the handgun, a verbal exchange occurred, which lasted for approximately six minutes," Smith said in a released statement. "During this time, Hernandez held the gun to his own head, and did not threaten officers or bystanders."
Officers ordered Hernandez to drop the gun, but he failed to comply reportedly telling officers they would have to shoot him.
One of the officers fired a taser, but police now believe one of the prongs failed to make contact with Hernandez resulting in a failure to incapacitate him.
"Immediately following the unsuccessful tasing, Hernandez pointed his revolver toward officers. No shots were fired until that threat was directed at officers," Smith added.
Hernandez died as a result of the shooting. No one else was injured in the incident.
According to police, Hernandez had a fully loaded .357 caliber revolver during the incident and a fully loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun was found at his feet. Several small baggies of marijuana were found in the pockets of Hernandez’ clothing.
The Deadly Force Investigation Team (DFIT), consisting of members of the Homicide Unit, the Crime Scene Unit, Internal Affairs, the District Attorney's Office, and the Medical Examiner's Office, is investigating the case.