More details emerge on Emerson police-involved shooting

Posted

An official with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has released new details on an officer-involved shooting that occurred at a truck stop in Emerson Thursday afternoon.

GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said 51-year-old Jose Rafael Caballero was struck when a Bartow County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) deputy and two Emerson police officers opened fire at the Love's Travel Stop on Old Allatoona Road at approximately 6:05 p.m.

It remains unknown how many times Caballero was shot, but it is believed that the officers fired off multiple rounds during the confrontation.

Caballero was later taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Cobb County. As of Thursday evening he was listed as being in "critical but stable condition."

According to Miles, BCSO Deputy George Murchison and Sgt. Neil Baker and patrolman Gary Mandelus of the Emerson Police Department (EPD) responded to emergency calls about "a man threatening to harm himself" at 150 Old Allatoona Road. 

Miles said Caballero possessed a handgun and pointed it at the officers, who commanded Caballero to drop the weapon. 

The officers opened fire when he allegedly disobeyed their orders.

No police were injured in the incident. It is unknown whether Caballero fired any shots during the encounter.

Miles said both the BCSO and EPD requested the GBI conduct an independent investigation of the shooting. Once it is completed, Miles said it will be turned over to the Cherokee Judicial Circuit for further review. 

A man named Jeff Stubbs told Atlanta television station WSB that he called the police after his brother-in-law allegedly made a series of "violent threats," including several directed towards his wife, shortly before the shooting.

Neither the GBI nor any local police agencies have confirmed those accusations yet. 

Bartow County jail records indicate a man named Jose Rafael Caballero — whose address is listed as 112 6th St. in Emerson — was arrested for willful obstruction of law enforcement officers in January.

However, in an email Miles said Caballero's last known address was in South Carolina. 

Miles declined comment on a number of questions, including the potential charges Caballero may be facing, how long Caballero was at the truck stop before the shooting or if any signs of officer misconduct during the situation have been identified.

She did, however, state that she expects the GBI investigation to take about 60-90 days to be completed, adding "there are no new updates at this time."