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Man shot by Gwinnett police was unarmed

POSTED: January 9, 2014 12:34 a.m.

A Flowery Branch man was not armed when police officers shot and killed him. Police say the man charged one of the officers.

Robert Adam Coleman, 30, was shot when Gwinnett County police responded to a burglary in progress at about 4:15 p.m. Saturday at 3849 Smokemist Trace in unincorporated Lawrenceville.

The residence is about three blocks from 3668 Willow Wood Way, where a few minutes after 4 p.m., police officers responded to a reported stabbing. Coleman was a suspect in that incident, and according to witness accounts, was attending a party there.

The man who was stabbed has not been identified. His injuries were not considered life threatening, and he was released from the hospital that night, said Cpl. Jake Smith, Gwinnett police public information officer.

The knife used in the stabbing was found at the scene of that incident, Gwinnett police said in a news release. No other weapons were recovered at either scene.

“In the course of investigating, (officers) did find the sheath to the knife on the person of Coleman,” Smith said.

One officer was knocked to the ground during the attack and, fearing for his life, fired shots at Coleman, according to the news release. The other officer, fearing for the safety of the first officer, also fired.

Although the first officer’s injury is considered “friendly fire,” it is unknown which officer fired that particular shot, according to the release.

Smith said “it’s possible” the injured officer shot himself, but as both officers fired the same type of bullet, “we probably won’t be able to tell” which officer fired that shot.

Both officers remain on administrative leave under departmental policy as the Deadly Force Investigation Team continues to investigate the circumstances of the shooting.

According to his obituary, Coleman was a member of Cornerstone Assembly of God Church in Flowery Branch and had two children.


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