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Man dies after being shot by Gainesville police Sept. 30
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Neighbors watch at the scene of an officer-involved shooting Monday night at West Avenue and Comer Street in Gainesville. Police say a man involved in a hit and run became combative and pulled a knife on emergency workers trying to render aid. - photo by Nick Watson

A Gainesville man died Sunday, Oct. 6, in the hospital almost a week after being shot by a Gainesville police officer. 

Hall County Coroner Marion Merck confirmed the death of Raphael Michael Torres, 35, who was shot Sept. 30 on West Avenue after allegedly threatening medical personnel with a knife. 

Torres’ body was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab for an autopsy, Merck said.

The Gainesville Fire Department responded about 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, to a reported hit and run at West Avenue and Comer Street, Gainesville Police Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said.

Witnesses said Torres walked into the vehicle "and made it look as if though maybe they had hit him with the vehicle,” Holbrook said. The GBI said Tuesday the truck was attempting to slowly go around him.

“The witnesses stated that the victim did have some prior injuries to actually walking into the vehicle. They were concerned for him just due to those injuries as well as his odd behavior,” Holbrook said. 

The injuries were to his arms as well as bleeding at the head, Holbrook said.

Torres walked off into the wooded area near the road but was found by medical personnel. Callers said the man appeared to be intoxicated.

Emergency workers began rendering aid to the man, who became confrontational.

"At some point, things escalated between (the patient) and the emergency personnel on scene," Holbrook said. "The subject reportedly pulled a knife."

Officers got in between the EMS workers and the person with the knife and tried to de-escalate the situation to no avail, Holbrook said.

“This individual charged at the officers with a knife, and unfortunately one of our officers did have to discharge their firearm, striking the individual,” Holbrook said.

A second officer used his Taser on Torres, the GBI reported.

Torres was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in serious condition. 

No one else was believed to be injured, police said.

The GBI is investigating. The agency declined The Times’ request Tuesday for the 911 calls.

This was the second officer-involved shooting in the city in little more than a week.

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A police car sits near the scene of an officer-involved shooting on West Avenue in Gainesville, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. - photo by Nick Watson
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