Task force officer shot while serving high-risk warrant
By MYFOXATLANTA STAFF
Titus Bates from a previous arrest. (Courtesy: Fulton County Jail)
Police say a DeKalb County Police officer was shot on Diana Drive in southwest Atlanta on Thursday morning. (Marc Teichner/FOX 5 Atlanta)
A DeKalb County Police officer was taken to Atlanta Medical Center on Thursday morning. (Chris Francis/FOX 5 Atlanta)
A DeKalb County Police officer serving with the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force was shot on Thursday morning while trying to serve an arrest warrant in southwest Atlanta.
Members of the task force were serving a high-risk arrest warrant on a drug suspect at a home in the 2800 block of Diana Drive near Metropolitan Parkway in southwest Atlanta around 6:45 a.m. The officers were attempting to gain entry into the home when the suspect, identified by task force members as 40-year-old Titus Bates, opened fire through the door, striking the Officer James Clay Hobbs in the leg.
A member of the Clayton County Fire Department serving with the task force is being credited for stabilizing Officer Hobbs. Task force members transported him directly to Atlanta Medical Center in one of their own vehicles. A spokesperson says the officer was alert and breathing when he arrived. He is being treated for a shotgun wound to his shin. He was released later Thursday and is expected to be okay.
Bates was taken into custody a few minutes after the shooting. Officers found a .45-caliber pistol on him that they believe was the gun used in the shooting. He is expected to face additional charges in the shooting of the officer. Authorities say he has a long criminal history and even spent time in prison on drug charges.
The task force assistance was requested by the Atlanta Police Department Gang Unit to help them serve the warrant. The ATF and homicide detectives for the Atlanta Police Department are investigating the shooting.
U.S. Marshal Gavin Duffy says task force members are trained for this type of high-risk incidents. They used balletic shields and other precautions when trying to gain entry into the home.
A spokesperson for the DeKalb County Police Department tells FOX 5 News that the officer worked for their department, but was attached full time to the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force. The chief of police was among the many law enforcement officers who arrived at the hospital after news of the shooting spread.
Officials report that Officer Hobbs is currently in "good spirits."
Officer Hobbs has been with the department for 12 years and has served full-time with the task force for the past 3 years. He is a member of the U.S. Army Reserve. Police say he was also one of the first officers to arrive during the incident earlier this year at McNair Discovery Learning Academy. He has a wife and daughter.
The U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force is comprised of 28 different law enforcement agencies. It's goal is to be a "one-stop shop" for fugitive investigations in Georgia. The task force celebrated its first decade in service in September. It is based out of Atlanta and Macon.
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