Gwinnett police are interviewing “multiple persons of interests” in connection with the shooting death of a 30-year-old Gwinnett County Police Department officer on Saturday.
Officer Antwan Toney, 30, who has been with the department since October 26, 2015, died at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville following a shooting near a Snellvill school, according to Sgt. Jake Smith, a spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.
Toney was gunned down after he responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle behind Shiloh Middle School, Gwinnett police Chief A.A. “Butch” Ayers said.
“This is a very fluid investigation and manhunt, but basically, it was an anonymous call to 911 stating there was a suspicious vehicle possibly in the area and it was believed they were possibly smoking marijuana,” Ayers said. “The officers on-scene did attempt to provide immediate first aid to Officer Toney pending the arrival of the Gwinnett County fire depatment’s paramedics.”
Toney is originally from the California area, Ayers said.
“What a chief wants to hear is that an officer is ok,” Ayers said. “When I asked that question, that wasn’t the answer I got.”
According to Smith, the car fled the scene after the shooting, though later crashed. The suspects fled on foot.
While it is not yet known exactly how many suspects are involved, Smith said there may have been “up to four” people in the car. He said the suspects began shooting before Toney could speak to them.
Smith did not say where Toney was shot, only that it “did not hit him in the vest.” Another officer was with Toney when he was shot.
“The other officer drug Officer Toney away to cover,” Smith said.
Toney’s death is the first line-of-duty death for the Gwinnett County Police Department since 1993, when Officer James Magill was killed by a suspected drunk driver.
“This has been a big shock to the community, to the Gwinnet County Police Department,” Ayers said. “This our fifth line of duty death.”
Smith said the department will seek justice for Toney’s murder.
“The guys (at the police department) are professional, we’re going to continue to do our job and hopefully catch the people that are responsible for this,” Smith said. “We want to catch them.”
Saturday’s shooting is the fourth officer-involved shooting in Georgia this week.
On Thursday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said a Monroe police officer was forced to open fire on a man who appeared to carry a gun. The man died at the scene.
Several hours later in Bartow County, the GBI said a Georgia State Patrol trooper was injured in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect who was being placed into custody. The suspect was struck and killed, but the trooper was saved by his vest.
Then, late Thursday night, the GBI said Richland Police officers tried to stop a man at a roadblock, but he ran off. Officers chased the man, leading to him opening fire on the officers. The officers struck the man and he is expected to survive. None of the officers there were injured.
Anyone with tips about Toney’s shooting is asked to call Gwinnett police at 770-513-5100.
FOX 5 Atlanta contributed to this report.