Atlanta officer saved by ballistic vest

His bulletproof vest saved his life and he'll soon head home from the hospital


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

ATLANTA — An Atlanta police officer was recovering at Grady Memorial Hospital Sunday morning after a man shot him Saturday, police said.

His bulletproof vest saved his life and he'll soon head home, whereas Michael Thomas, the man charged with shooting the officer, will head to jail after he is discharged from the hospital.

Thomas and Antonio Bell, who was being processed at the Fulton County Jail Sunday, are charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, home invasion, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and criminal damage to property.

When a woman saw someone pulling on her Buckhead apartment door handle Saturday afternoon, she called 911.

By the time the first officer arrived at her Peachtree Valley Road apartment complex, someone had already kicked in her door, Sgt. Warren Pickard said.

Pickard said Bell walked out of the apartment as the officer walked toward the door. As the officer approached the door, Thomas allegedly shot the officer.

"The officer began to try and take cover, but at some point was shot in the abdomen area," Pickard said.

He pulled out his city-issued Glock 22, a .40-caliber firearm, and returned fire.

The officer, whose name has not been released, hit Thomas in the side stomach area, Pickard said.

The two suspects first ran toward the parking garage, with Thomas continuing to fire at the officer, Pickard said.

The men were last seen by police crossing over the train track heading northbound toward Peachtree Park Drive.

An employee of Channel 2 Action News saw a man running with a "decent sized" gun in his left hand. She made a 911 call that helped officers capture him, according to Channel 2.

"He wasn't running, but kind of walking fast toward the train tracks," she said.

Officers found and arrested the hiding suspects and recovered a 9mm handgun in a nearby dumpster.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has taken over the investigation into the shooting.

Copyright 2016 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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