A Carrollton police corporal told an armed man at least twice not to take his handgun out of its holster before giving him a final warning that he would shoot him if he removed the gun. Moments later, the officer fired two shots, striking the man in the head and killing him.
Those were some of the new details that emerged Friday in the Thursday night shooting death of 40-year-old Kenneth Joel Dothard, the second deadly officer-involved shooting in Georgia in as many days.
The incident began about 9 p.m. Thursday when a woman called 911 to report a suspicious person with a gun in the area of the Community Southern Bank on Bankhead Highway, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Sherry Lang said.
Cpl. Chad Cook, a 7½-year veteran of the Carrollton Police Department, responded to the scene near the intersection of Bankhead Highway and Burns Road, approached the subject and noticed what appeared to be a gun in a holster.
Cook, Lang said, also noticed something else: The suspicious person was no stranger. Carrollton police had previous run-ins with Dothard.
On an audio recording of the incident released Friday by the GBI, Cook can be heard questioning Dothard for about 8 minutes.
Cook asked Dothard if he was carrying a firearm, and he replied that he did have a firearm in the holster.
He first told Cook he had a permit to carry the gun, but didn’t have the permit on him. Later, Dothard told Cook he didn’t know he had to have a permit to carry a gun.
Asked if he had ever been convicted of a felony, Dothard, whose record included two felony drug-related convictions, replied, “Yes, sir.”
When Cook requested backup, Dothard became agitated and asked the officer why he called for backup.
“I’m going to have to have another unit to come out here with me right now because of the questions I’m asking you,” Cook said. “You’re making me feel like you know you shouldn’t have a gun on you.”
At that point, Dothard put his hand on the gun.
Cook: “Don’t take that gun out. Do not take the gun out.”
Dothard: “Do not touch me.”
As Dothard continued to remove the weapon, Cook shouted, “Don’t take that gun out or I’ll shoot you.”
About two seconds later, two shots can be heard, followed by Cook shouting into his radio: “Shots fired. Shots fired. Shots fired. Suspect is down.”
Carrollton police Chief Joel Richards requested the GBI investigate the shooting and Cook was placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the GBI’s investigation.
Friend Charlie Thomas told Channel 2 Action News Dothard was a “super guy” who worked at a local restaurant.
“He didn’t do anything but work,” Thomas said. “He didn’t talk that much to nobody. He lived by himself.”
His last known residence, according to Lang, was the Efficiency Lodge in the 700 block of Bankhead Highway.
Thursday’s incident was the second fatal shooting involving Georgia officers in about 24 hours. Late Wednesday night, a Putnam County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a knife-wielding man. The GBI is investigating that shooting, too.
“The GBI will conduct a thorough investigation to determine what occurred during the incident,” Lang said of the Carrollton shooting. “When the investigation is complete it will be turned over to the district attorney for any action he deems appropriate.”