Police in Douglasville, Georgia, are investigating after an off-duty U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer allegedly shot and killed a 45-year-old man in a Walmart parking lot.
Police said in a statement released on Monday that officers responded to reports of a shooting at the Walmart location in the 1000 block of Thornton Road at around 12:50 p.m. on Sunday. They arrived to find 45-year-old Johnathan Liddell of Austell dead in his vehicle from an apparent gunshot wound.
The second person involved in the shooting is O.L. Jones, an ICE officer who works with the agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations team, which is tasked with overseeing ICE arrests and deportations.
ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox confirmed Jones’s involvement in a statement to The Associated Press, telling the news agency that the off-duty ICE officer had been traveling with his wife and children when the incident took place.
“On Feb. 17 an off-duty officer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) discharged a personally owned firearm in Douglas County, Georgia, resulting in the death of one person,” Cox said in a separate statement to FOX 5 on Monday.
“The ERO officer was not on duty at the time of the incident and was traveling in a personally owned vehicle with his wife and children.”
Cox told FOX 5 that ICE officers involved in a shooting are not taken off active duty, as is typically the practice with local law enforcement agencies.
He said ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility investigates ICE officer-involved shootings “in coordination with our law enforcement partners,” adding that “due to those ongoing investigations, no additional information is available at this time.”
It is still unclear what occurred in the moments leading up to the deadly shooting or why the off-duty ICE officer would have fired his weapon.
However, the Douglasville Police Department has said that the incident was captured on parking lot surveillance video and that it is continuing to interview witnesses to determine “what led up to the shooting.”
As of Monday, no charges had been laid, nor any arrests made, in connection with the shooting.
The incident is currently being investigated in a joint initiative by the Douglasville Police and Douglas County Sheriff Major Case Unit.
The Douglasville Police Department and ICE did not immediately responded to a request for comment.
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