ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — Two police officers responding to reports of gunfire in one of Atlanta’s busiest commercial districts were ambushed Wednesday, leaving one of them shot and wounded, the city’s mayor said.
A bystander reported hearing a barrage of shots and said he later saw an officer, bleeding badly and, being rushed from the scene on Peachtree Street, a major thoroughfare in the city’s bustling Midtown district.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told a news conference that the two officers had responded a report of gunshots fired nearby moments before one of them was shot in an apartment building where they had gone to investigate.
“These officers were ambushed,” the mayor said, adding that “even with the one of the officers being struck, they quickly responded.”
In a statement from the Atlanta Police, they confirmed the officer who was shot was transported to a local hospital after multiple gunshot wounds. The officer is alert, conscious, breathing and in stable condition.
The suspect was struck by gunshots from police returning fire and died of his injuries.
Atlanta police Officer C.J. Johnson said law enforcement had asked the public to avoid a portion of Peachtree Street where a heavy presence of officers and police vehicles was seen after the shooting.
Patrick Walker, who works as a concierge for the apartment building, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he heard a barrage of gunfire.
Walker was at the hotel’s front desk when he heard the shots and saw police come running through the doors. Employees and others in the lobby tried to find safety, he said.
Walker then saw an officer being carried out by his arms and legs “bleeding so bad,” he told the newspaper.
Atlanta Police stated the suspect was involved in a shooting with another male before police arrived. That individual has non-life threatening injuries.
The shooting occurred in a prominent area of the city about one block north of the Fox Theatre and Georgian Terrace Hotel, where cast members of “Gone With The Wind” stayed when the movie made its Atlanta premier.
Video from local television stations showed a large number of police officers and police cars outside an apartment building afterward.
Later Wednesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp wrote on Twitter that he and his family “join all Georgians in praying for the Atlanta police officer who was shot in the line of duty today.”
“Georgia stands with the brave men and women who protect us every day,” Kemp added.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says it is investigating the shooting at the request of the Atlanta Police Department. No further details were immediately released.
Martin reported from Marietta, Georgia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report