Athens, GA – A knife-wielding attacker was shot multiple times as he charged at an Athens-Clarke County police officer, but still managed to grab the officer while trying to gain control of the officer’s duty weapon (video below).
The suspect ignored over 35 commands to drop his knife during the fatal encounter.
The altercation began at approximately 12:45 p.m. on Monday, when Athens-Clarke County Senior Police Officer David Harrison and Officer Charles Bidinger responded to a report of a man causing a disturbance at an apartment complex in the 1000-block of Macon Highway, WXIA reported.
When they arrived at the complex, the officers immediately encountered 23-year-old Aaron Hong, who was drenched in his own blood and clutching a large butcher knife, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Bodycam footage showed the officers as they got out of their patrol vehicle and ordered Hong to drop the knife.
Hong refused, and instead began advancing on the officers, who were holding him at gunpoint.
“Put the knife down, sir. Please!” they begged repeatedly. “We’re here to help you out!”
The officers backed down the roadway as Hong continued to advance.
“Do it! Do it!” Hong screamed at the officers.
They ordered him to drop his weapon over 35 times during the harrowing encounter, but he refused.
As Hong pursued the officers down the street and onto a more populated thoroughfare, Officer Harrison told Officer Bidinger to swap to a “less lethal” weapon to attempt to subdue the attacker, bodycam footage showed.
But a moment later, Hong he suddenly began running towards Officer Harrison, quickly closing the gap between them.
“No! No! No!” the officer begged, just before seven gunshots rang out.
Hong collapsed to the ground and dropped the knife, but he still wasn’t ready to surrender.
Despite having been hit by several rounds, Hong got back onto his feet and squared off with officers yet again.
“No! Get on the ground!” the officers yelled.
“Shoot me!” Hong screamed.
The bloodied attacker then ran at Officer Harrison again, and appeared to place him into a choke from behind while pulling him to the ground backwards.
Simultaneously, Hong reached for the officer’s holstered duty weapon, bodycam footage showed.
“He’s going for my gun!” Officer Harrison yelled frantically.
Hong still had a grip on Officer Harrison when Officer Bidinger fired multiple rounds, hitting the suspect several times.
Emergency medical personnel began treating Hong immediately, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, WXIA reported.
One of the officers suffered a minor injury during the altercation, and was treated by paramedics at the scene.
Officer Harrison has served with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD) for seven years. Officer Bidinger joined the ACCPD less than a year ago.
Both officers have been placed on administrative leave while the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) investigates the officer-involved shooting, as per policy.
Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Cleveland Spruill said that the officers faced a clear and imminent threat of death or injury during the dramatic encounter, and that their use of deadly force was justified, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.
You can watch bodycam footage of the officers’ encounter with Hong in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content