A DeKalb County, Georgia, police officer who was shot by a suspect during a traffic stop Thursday afternoon died at the hospital in the evening, DeKalb County Police Chief James Conroy confirmed at a news conference. A K9 was also critically injured in the incident.

"So, I have sad news to report this evening. Tonight, a DeKalb County Police officer died in the line of duty serving its citizens of DeKalb County,” Conroy told presspersons at the news conference.

The incident started as a traffic stop near Candler Road and I-20. The suspect tried to drive away and officers followed him on foot. The suspect then fired at the officers, hitting one officer who hasn't yet been identified, as well as the police dog. The responding officers then shot the suspect.

Both the injured officer, who received a wound to the back of the head, and the suspect were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital while the dog was taken to a local veterinarian.

Conroy said the suspect also succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. The K9 was in critical condition and undergoing treatment, AJC News reported.

 

"I am very proud of the men and women of the police department. They responded to the scene, were able to track the suspect, they did their job, and all while this was going on, the officers throughout the county providing services to DeKalb,” Conroy said, praising the department for handling the situation well. He also revealed the officer was with the department for less than two years.

police A DeKalb County, Georgia, Police officer was fatally shot during traffic stop. In this image, police patrol the streets of Newnan the night before the National Socialist Movement in Newnan, Georgia, April 20, 2018. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A witness who was inside a nearby restaurant said he heard at least six gunshots. "When we heard the six gunshots, we don't know… So, we kind of ducked inside the restaurant. And then we decided to close the back door and then I saw all the police officers start coming and all the ambulances were coming and then we saw some fire truck, and at that time, we realized something happened because a lot of police officers were running this way," witness Immy Ahmed told WSB-TV.

A portion of Interstate 20 was shut for a brief period of time following the incident, resulting in traffic jams.