DeKalb County Police have identified a man fatally shot by an officer after he tried to steal a neighbor’s dog and then a police car Nov. 22.
Christopher Lee, 44, died after being transported to a local hospital after the incident.
Both officers involved are on routine administrative leave as the department continues to investigate the case. Police are also trying to determine whether Lee, who lived in the neighborhood at 4834 Truitt Lane, was a resident of an unlicensed personal care home.
According to a statement provided by police spokeswoman Mekka Parish, officers were called out to 4878 Wilkins Station Drive in reference to a possible demented person.
A resident at the home told police that a man had entered their open garage, claiming to own the family’s dog.
“The homeowner confronted the man and removed the dog to the inside of the home,” Parish said. “The man then entered the homeowner’s car in the driveway and sat inside. At some point, the man went to the front door of the home stating again he was the owner of the dog.”
The resident “armed herself with a butcher knife and confronted the suspect outside again. The suspect was able to take the knife from the homeowner. He then chased the homeowner down the street and attempted to stab her,” Parish said.
When Lee fell down, the resident was able to get away and call police. When police officers arrived, they found the suspect on Wilkins Way Drive cutting wires attached to a cable box, Parish said. The officers ordered Lee to drop the knife, but he refused and began walking down the street toward a group of people.
The officer then cut the suspect off with his patrol unit and when a second officer arrived on scene, both officers exited their patrol units, Parish said.
Police said Lee, still armed with the knife, then entered one of the patrol cars and attempted to drive off, while the car was still in park.
When the suspect continued to refuse to comply with the officers’ commands, police shot him with a Taser, but he removed the prongs from his body, police said.
“The suspect then made a threatening gesture toward officers at which point they were forced to discharge their weapons,” Parish stated. Lee was transported to a local hospital where he later died.