UPDATE 12:29 p.m. EST: The police officer fatally shot outside Atlanta early Wednesday morning has been identified by a county official as Detective Terence Avery Green, WXIA-TV reported.
"This is a stark and sad reminder of the hard and dangerous work that our men and women in law enforcement embark upon every time they respond to a call," Fulton County Chairman John H. Eaves said in a statement. "At this time, I ask that you pray for Detective Green's family as well for the men and women with whom he served."
Green, who served on the force nearly 22 years, is survived by his parents and his four sons, WXIA reported.
Green was shot in the back of the head, WSB-TV said. One police official called the shooting an ambush — police had responded to an emergency call about shots fired in a house in Fairburn.
“This is a dreadful event, we are asking for the prayers and support from all of the community,” Fulton County Police Chief Cassandra Jones told WSB.
The original 911 call came from inside the alleged shooter's house, WSB reported.
The suspect — identified by WSB sources as Amanuel Menghesha — was alert, conscious and breathing when he was taken to hospital after being hit by police gunfire, WSB reported.
Menghesha was previously known to police through incidents that allegedly involved alcohol, WSB added.
A bullet hit the radio on the belt of another officer who was uninjured, WSB sources indicated.
Original story below
A Georgia police officer was fatally shot early Wednesday morning in what one official called an ambush.
Fulton County police said they got a call about shots fired in a house in Fairburn — about 30 minutes southwest of Atlanta — but the alleged shooter was gone by the time officers arrived about 12:40 a.m., WAGA-TV reported.
Then police got calls saying someone who seemed intoxicated was firing a gun in the neighborhood, banging on doors and trying to enter houses, WAGA said. The shooter was firing a long-barrel gun, WXIA-TV reported.
As police approached the suspect amid foggy conditions, the suspect fired at officers and hit one in the head, WXIA said. That officer was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead about 4:30 a.m. Police haven't released his name but said he was a veteran who spent over two decades on the force.
Fulton County Assistant Police Chief Gary Stiles told WXIA the fatal shooting appeared to be an ambush.
They "were trying to do their job, they were trying to protect this neighborhood from someone who was shooting," Stiles told the station. "And they had no other option but to do their job. And the way it appears to me, they were ambushed without warning."
[sharequote align="center"]"It's just devastating. It's just devastating."[/sharequote]
The suspect's gunfire hit another officer on his belt but he's OK, WAGA reported.
Officers shot the suspect in the exchange of gunfire and he was taken to a hospital; his condition is unknown, WXIA reported.
A tearful Fulton County Police Chief Cassandra Jones told WXIA that her department is devastated.
"What's going through our minds is just, you know, 'Wake up. It's a dream.' Because when something like this happens, you're never prepared for it, you don't expect it, you don't go to work thinking it's going to happen at all," she said on camera.
Jones paused and looked downward. She then said, "It's just devastating. It's just devastating."
Jones said she's not releasing the officer's name until family has been notified, adding that he was well-liked by his fellow officers.
Alfred Printup lives in the neighborhood and was at work when the incident occurred — but he could hear the gunfire when he was on the phone with his wife.
"I just want to thank that police officer who gave his life to keep my family safe," Printup told WXIA.
This story has been updated.
(H/T: New York Daily News)
Follow Dave Urbanski (@DaveVUrbanski) on Twitter