January 30, 2023

Protesters damaged property at numerous locations on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta Saturday in the wake of a shooting earlier this week near the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center — a controversial future law enforcement training site — in which a Georgia state trooper was wounded and a man was killed. No one was hurt, authorities said. 

In a news conference Saturday evening, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said that at least six people were arrested in the violence.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said “some” of those arrested “were found with explosives on them,” adding that a police patrol vehicle was set ablaze.

No protesters or officers were hurt during the ordeal, Schierbaum confirmed. 

Demonstrators protest in downtown Atlanta on Jan. 21, 2023.

R.J. Rico / AP


Three local businesses were damaged during the violence, which was limited to a roughly two-block radius, Schierbaum said.

“We can tell now, early in this investigation, this was not, the folks tonight, just to damage windows on three buildings and set a police car on fire,” Schierbaum told reporters. “The intent was to continue to do harm. And that did not happen.”

Masked activists dressed in all black threw rocks and lit fireworks in front of a skyscraper that houses the Atlanta Police Foundation, shattering large glass windows, according to the Associated Press. 

Over the past several months, the tension between protestors and law enforcement over the future training site has been rising, until it came to a boil on Wednesday. 

A Georgia state trooper was shot and wounded Wednesday morning, and a man identified by police as 26-year-old Manuel Esteban Paez Teran was fatally shot during a planned multi-agency operation to remove protesters from the property, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).

The trooper was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and immediately taken into surgery, said officials. He was in stable condition as of Thursday, Georgia State Patrol said. The trooper’s identity has not yet been released.  

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Michael Register of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation briefs reporters after a shooting in Atlanta. Jan. 18, 2023. 

Georgia Department of Public Safety


On Friday, GBI released a photo of a handgun it said Teran was carrying at the time of the shooting. It said a ballistic analysis of the round which wounded the trooper was a match to Teran’s Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm.   

Activists have questioned officials’ version of events, calling it a “murder,” and demanding an independent investigation, according to the Associated Press. According to the GBI, the incident was not recorded on body cameras.

For months, protesters have allegedly destroyed property, committed arson and carjackings and thrown rocks, bottles and other items at police, GBI said. 

In December, five people were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism and other charges after allegedly throwing rocks and bottles at the training center, officials said. Another seven people were also arrested Wednesday, on the day of the shooting incident, on charges of domestic terrorism and criminal trespass, GBI said. 

Schierbaum noted that all those who were arrested prior to Saturday’s violence were not Georgia residents. He could not immediately confirm whether the six arrested Saturday were also from out of state.

“I don’t know which news group it was…we saw a great graphic from everyone that was arrested this past week, not a single Georgia resident in there,” Schierbaum said. “It was from across the country.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the FBI and GBI will assist in the investigation into Saturday’s events, officials said.  

“These are not acts of peaceful protest. These are criminal acts to destabilize communities and endanger citizens,” Michael Register, director of the GBI, said earlier this week. The agency is investigating the trooper shooting.

For months, police have been sending officers to the site due to the high “threat of safety,” Register said.


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