GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting Following Multi-Agency Operation at Site of Future Atlanta Public Safety Training Center
Atlanta, GA (March 10, 2023) - The GBI is aware of media reports published today that made allegations concerning the officer involved shooting that occurred on January 18th. The GBI did not conduct Manuel Teran’s autopsy. The autopsy was done by the DeKalb Medical Examiners Office and not the GBI as the reports stated. The GBI continues to work diligently to protect the integrity of the investigation and will turn our findings over to an appointed prosecutor for review and action.
The actions of the GBI to prevent inappropriate release of evidence are solely intended to preserve the integrity of the investigation and to ensure the facts of the incident are not tainted. The GBI investigation still supports our initial assessment. All the facts, to include any information brought forward by the family’s attorney, will be assessed along with all other investigative information by the special prosecutor. The GBI cannot and will not attempt to sway public opinion in this case but will continue to be led by the facts and truth. We understand the extreme emotion that this has caused Teran’s family and will continue to investigate as comprehensively as possible.
Atlanta, GA (February 9, 2023) - The GBI is committed to a full, complete, and accurate investigation. Yesterday, the Atlanta Police Department released bodycam video of their officers who were involved in the joint operation to clear the site of the future City of Atlanta Public Safety Training Center. In those videos, at least one statement exists where an officer speculates that the Trooper was shot by another officer in crossfire. Speculation is not evidence. Our investigation does not support that statement.
We ask for your patience as we continue our investigation. In addition to the collection of evidence, forensic evaluation and analysis, the investigative process includes among other things the interview of not only the officers at the immediate scene, but also all personnel who were present during the operation.
When the investigation is complete, all videos will be provided. One of the rationales behind not publicly releasing videos during active investigations is that witness interviews are a key way to obtain information regarding facts surrounding an incident. Memory and perception are fragile, and a myriad of factors can influence perception and memory, including an individual’s background, experiences, the turmoil, and emotional impact of a significant incident, as well as the viewing of a video before giving a statement. That is the rationale behind Georgia’s law which allows agencies to exempt the public disclosure of videos in an active investigation. (OCGA § 50-18-72(a)(4)).
The GBI is continuing to investigate the incident from January 18th and is being as comprehensive in the investigation as possible. The initial assessment given by the GBI concerning the incident is still valid. Our investigation will continue to look at every aspect, to include statements made at the scene, and each will be evaluated.
Atlanta, GA (February 6, 2023) – The GBI has received numerous questions since the January 18 officer involved shooting that ended with a seriously injured Georgia State Trooper and the death of Manuel Teran. We owe it to the Trooper and Teran to complete a thorough investigation. When we began our case, we contacted and spoke with Teran’s family. We intend to follow up with the family as the investigation progresses.
It has been stated that the GBI is investigating Teran, but agents are actually investigating the actions of all individuals connected to this incident, including Teran and law enforcement. This investigation consists of several types of evidence, including witness statements, forensic tests results, results of scene processing, and more. GBI agents are still in the process of reviewing numerous bodyworn camera videos connected to this incident. Any video recovered relating to the case, to include audio, will be analyzed as part of the investigative process.
We are not releasing any videos currently because agents are continuing to conduct key interviews and want to maintain the integrity of the investigation.
We ask for your patience while we go through the processes needed to complete the investigation. At that time, our case file will be given to a special prosecutor. When the criminal justice process is done, any member of the public can have a copy of the file by submitting an open records request for the full case file.
The GBI has a history of conducting many comprehensive use of force investigations. As you may be aware, the GBI has been called upon in the past to investigate officer involved shootings and other law enforcement related matters all over Georgia. The GBI has always conducted investigations with the highest expectation of quality and thoroughness. We will continue to serve the citizens of Georgia to the best of our ability, to include the investigation of the incident which occurred January 18th.
Our OIS investigations typically average about 60-90 days to complete. When this particular investigation is completed, as previously stated, it will be given to a special prosecutor to determine next steps.
Atlanta, GA (January 25, 2023) - We are aware that DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston has recused herself from the January 18, 2023 officer involved shooting (OIS) case involving Manuel Esteban Paez Teran and a Georgia State Patrol trooper. A special prosecutor will be assigned by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council to review our findings related to this case. In the past decade, the GBI has investigated numerous OIS cases for local and state law enforcement. Our track record of impartiality precedes this January 18 incident. The GBI and Georgia State Patrol are two separate agencies. As in every officer involved shooting investigation, our procedure is to gather information concerning OIS events and turn the investigative file over to the prosecutor in the jurisdiction the event occurred for their review and action.
Since the investigation began, we have been able to connect the handgun found at the scene by various means to Teran, who shot the trooper during the clearing operation.
We will continue to work with the Georgia Attorney General’s Office and the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office in reference to the ongoing domestic terrorism investigation.
Atlanta, GA (January 23, 2023) - There have been numerous inaccurate media and on-line reports about the officer involved shooting incident that occurred January 18th. We’re providing this update to address the widespread misinformation that is occurring.
• Today, the GBI received confirmation from a firearms transaction record that in September 2020, Manuel Esteban Paez Teran legally purchased the firearm that was used in the shooting of a GSP trooper.
• Bodycam questions – The Task Force consisted of several agencies. The officers who were near the incident at the time of shooting were not wearing body worn cameras. Although the shooting is not captured on bodycam, there is bodycam footage of the aftermath.
This continues to be an ongoing investigation.
Atlanta, GA (January 20, 2023) – We are releasing a photo of the handgun that was in Manuel Esteban Paez Teran’s possession when a Georgia State Patrol trooper was shot on January 18 at the site of the future Atlanta Public Safety Training Center. The handgun is described as a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm. Forensic ballistic analysis has confirmed that the projectile recovered from the trooper’s wound matches Teran’s handgun. Other preliminary information released in this case is consistent with the investigation so far.
Atlanta, GA (January 19, 2023) – The man who died in yesterday’s officer involved shooting has been identified as Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, 26.
During the multi-agency operation at the site of the future Atlanta Public Safety Training Center that began on January 18, 2023, approximately 25 campsites were located and removed.
Additionally, mortar style fireworks, multiple edged weapons, pellet rifles, gas masks, and a blow torch were recovered. There were three people who were contacted who provided their names to authorities and were free to go.
The following people were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism and criminal trespass, with additional charges pending:
- Geoffrey Parsons, age 20, of Maryland
- Spencer Bernard Liberto, age 29, of Pennsylvania
- Matthew Ernest Macar, age 30, of Pennsylvania
- Timothy Murphy, age 25, of Maine
- Christopher Reynolds, age 31, of Ohio
- Teresa Shen, age 31, of New York
- Sarah Wasilewski, age 35, of Pennsylvania
Atlanta, GA – (January 18, 2023) In an ongoing effort to ensure that the site of the future City of Atlanta Public Safety Training Center is safe and secure, the GBI, along with other law enforcement partners, conducted an operation to identify people who are trespassing and committing other crimes on the property.
At about 9:00 a.m. today, as law enforcement was moving through the property, officers located a man inside a tent in the woods. Officers gave verbal commands to the man who did not comply and shot a Georgia State Patrol Trooper. Other law enforcement officers returned fire, hitting the man. Law enforcement evacuated the Trooper to a safe area. The man died on scene. The injured Georgia State Patrol Trooper was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery. A handgun and shell casings were located at the scene. The GBI is working the officer involved shooting and the investigation is still active and ongoing. The identification of the man who died is pending next of kin notification.
During the planned operation, several people were arrested and taken to the DeKalb County Jail. Charges are pending and updates will be provided later.
This joint investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact local law enforcement or the GBI at 1-800-597-TIPS. Anonymous tips can also be submitted online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.
Once the investigation is complete, the case file will be given to the Georgia Attorney General’s Office & DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office who are jointly prosecuting this case.
Members of this joint task force include the GBI, Atlanta Police Department, Georgia Attorney General’s Office, DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, FBI, DeKalb County Police Department, Department of Natural Resources, and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA).
News conference: (7) News Conference - Multi-Agency Operation Update - YouTube
Previous enforcement activity: https://gbi.georgia.gov/press-releases/2022-12-14/five-arrested-domestic-terrorism-charges-site-future-atlanta-public