From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
NEW INFORMATION: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the officer-involved shooting that took place Thursday morning in West Savannah on Augusta Avenue, between Eagle Street and Cumming Street. The victim, Charles Smith, 29, was handcuffed behind his back and in the process of being arrested during the incident. The encounter was caught on video, according to GBI. An autopsy on Smith's body will be done at the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah Friday.
"After being placed in the patrol car, Smith was able to move his hands to the front of his body and kick out the window of the patrol car. The officers said as Smith attempted to exit the patrol car they saw that he had a firearm. This encounter resulted in officer David Jannot, shooting and killing Smith at the scene," according to GBI.
Jannot, a 10-year veteran of the Department is now on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation, according to SCMPD Spokesman Julian Miller.
During the crime scene examination, a firearm was found under Smith's body. This information is based on the GBI's preliminary investigation. The GBI will continue to thoroughly investigate this incident to determine exactly what occurred. When the investigation is completed, the findings will be turned over to the Eastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office.
Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson has also released a statement regarding the shooting.
She says, "I am distressed at today's shooting in West Savannah that left one man dead, a family grieving, and a community with many questions. I share many of those questions. There will be answers, but for the moment I ask for patience.
Chief Tolbert immediately brought in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into this shooting. That is proper. We must now give authorities time to do their job.
I met today with the victim's family, and I grieved with them. I spoke with West Savannah residents, and I listened to them. I talked with Police leaders, and relayed our citizens' concerns while offering support for our officers and the difficult public service they perform every day.
When the answers come, we will be open, transparent and forthcoming. We will remain in continuous communication with the family. For now, I hope the citizens of Savannah will join me in remaining calm and patient as authorities gather the facts.”
Police have now cleared the scene at Augusta Ave and Newcastle following an officer involved shooting this morning.
Details are still limited at this time but we do know that a man has been killed following a shooting that involved a Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Officer.
Mayor Edna Jackson, Alderman Van Johnson, and Acting Police Chief Juliette Tolbert were all on the scene this afternoon. Mayor Jackson addressed the large crowd that gathered in the area saying, "We don't need anything to happen and we are going to keep the family and the community informed of everything that is going on."
Alderman Johnson also addressed city council during their afternoon meeting. He told them that, "this will not be a Ferguson, we will act appropriately, we will do the appropriate thing."
SCMP have turned the investigation over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
WSAV will update this story whenever new information becomes available.
UPDATE: Mayor Edna Jackson confirms an officer involved shooting has occurred in west Savannah.
Savannah Metro police remain in force at a scene in west Savannah for what witnesses on scene say may have been an officer involved shooting earlier today. Police have not confirmed any details. However, a police spokesman does tell News 3 that the GBI is on scene and is investigating.
A large number of officers and well as Acting Chief Juliette Tolbert and city Alderman Van Johnson are also there in the area of Augusta Avenue and Newcastle, apparently to calm concerns from the many who have gathered there.
News 3's Sheila Parker reports that when our crews arrived, a body was seen but has now been covered by a tarp. The police spokesman says it is the body of a man.
Dozens from the neighborhood have gathered in the area and at one time, apparently broke through police tape. However, things appear to be in control at the scene at this hour although many in the area are concerned and asking what has happened. We are told that Acting Chief Tolbert will be making a statement at some point but we have not been told when. Police tell us an incident happened shortly after 11 o'clock this morning.
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