Witness disputes official account of police shooting
by John Roach
jroach@mdjonline.com
May 20, 2011 08:00 PM | 12890 views | 16 16 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MABLETON — A Cobb County Police officer shot and killed Matthew R. Murdock, 34, of Cumming during a traffic stop late Thursday night near the intersection of Mableton Parkway and Veteran’s Memorial Highway, Cobb Police said, but a witness calls the official report “ridiculous.”

According to police, officers were dispatched to a report of a suspicious person in the area of Mableton Parkway and Puckett Drive at 11:25 p.m. Thursday. An officer arrived and confronted Murdock, who was pulling out of the parking lot of 642 Puckett Drive in a green Volkswagen Passat, police said. During the stop, a Cobb Sheriff’s deputy arrived on the scene, according to police.

The Cobb Police officer stepped away to verify what Murdock told him, according to the report. While the officer was away, Murdock and the deputy continued to talk, police said. The ensuing conversation led the deputy to believe Murdock had a weapon, prompting the deputy to physically engage him, police said. While that was taking place, a second Cobb police officer arrived, according to police. The second officer did not hear what was said between Murdock and the deputy, but saw the two in a physical altercation, police said.

“As the male continued to disobey the lawful commands of the officers, and when it appeared that he was reaching for a weapon, the second Cobb County police officer shot the male,” Sgt. Dana Pierce said.

Murdock was taken by ambulance to Atlanta Medical Center and died at 2:06 a.m., Pierce said.

Scott King, who runs the auto repair business in a nearby building from which Murdock was leaving, said Murdock had been helping him in the shop, as he often did. King said an officer approached him and asked him if he had anyone leaving the shop. When King told him that Murdock had just left, they walked toward the road, stopping to discuss installing a light to let police know that he was working in the shop, because the business had been burglarized before, King said.

King said that when he and the officer approached the road, he saw Murdock’s car stopped on the road with the second officer standing by the driver’s-side door. The officer was yelling at Murdock and then fired five to six shots at point-blank range, King said.

King said he heard Murdock yell, “Why are you shooting me?”

The officer who had shot Murdock then swung around, pointing the gun in King’s direction, prompting King and the officer with him to take cover, King said.

“I saw the officer duck behind a car and realized I was the last one in line,” King said.

King said he had seen a gun in Murdock’s car before, but doesn’t believe he would have threatened the officer with it.

King said he’d been friends with Murdock for four years and described him as “real smart, and an excellent body (repair) man. … He would do anything for anybody.”

King said he did not see a struggle between Murdock and the deputy.

Larry Shirah, who rents space to King and was a friend of Murdock’s, described Murdock as a “nice young man” without a criminal record. Shirah also said he can’t believe Murdock would have threatened an officer with his gun.

Pierce said he is not aware of any indications that Murdock was impaired by drugs or alcohol.

The officer who shot Murdock, whose name was not released, has been placed on administrative leave pending internal investigations.

Cobb Police investigators can be reached at (770) 499-3945.

Comments
(16)
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confused2
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May 28, 2011
someone said the sheriff deputy had absolutely no business being there - somebody tell me why the sheriff deputy wasn't supposed to be there?
anonymous
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May 26, 2011
completely ridiculous!!!!!!! I know many people that can vouch for this man!!!!! Pure murder and nothing else!!!!! This cop should be arrested and charged with murder!!! No excuse for this type of b.s. Cobb county has a real problem and it's sad.

anonymous
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May 25, 2011
Cobb county has a horrible reputation for being overly aggressive, overly hostile and having a "power high".

The entire Cobb County Police Force needs to be investigated and punished where fit. This is just one of MANY cases that go unnoticed by the public.
anonymous
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May 25, 2011
Cobb county has a horrible reputation for being overly aggressive, overly hostile and having a "power high".

The entire Cobb County Police Force needs to be investigated and punished where fit. This is just one of MANY cases that go unnoticed by the public.
anonymous
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May 25, 2011
Cobb county has a horrible reputation for being overly aggressive, overly hostile and having a "power high".

The entire Cobb County Police Force needs to be investigated and punished where fit. This is just one of MANY cases that go unnoticed by the public.
anonymous
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May 24, 2011
There are always going to be people whe have the opinion that "it didn't happen to me or my family, so it must have been OK". How ignorant and stupid, if you read and re-read the narative YOU WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD WHAT HAPPENED! THE YOUNG MAN WAS MURDERED AT POINT BLANK RANGE BY A UNTRAINED COP WHO ACTED WITHOUT THINKING. DEADLY DANGEROUS - IT COULD HAVE BEEN ME OR YOU!! WHO UNLEASHED THESE UNTRAINED, NO BRAINED MEN WEARING POLICE UNIFORMS AND PROTECT THEM IF THEY KILL OR INJURE A PERSON. OUR OWN COUNTY WE PAY TAXES TO!!

THEY COVER UP ALL THEIR MISTAKES AND SAY FOORRGETTAABOUTT IT (FOOLS - CITIZENS)!!
Gilad Shalom
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May 24, 2011
Authoritarian scum! This country is headed for dark times..

Proud American Moron said:

"innocent until proven guilty"!! Yeah that's O.K. for the criminals but no so for the police. What a bunch of hypocrites you all are."

Does being innocent until proven guilty typically involve getting shot in the face?

Proud American
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May 23, 2011
One question to all you people with your cop hating posts. Were you there? Hell no you weren't. You are basing judgement on an article posted by the MDJ. You are the same individuals who are always making the statement " innocent until proven guilty"!! Yeah that's O.K. for the criminals but no so for the police. What a bunch of hypocrites you all are.
Robert Allen
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May 22, 2011
“As the male continued to disobey the lawful commands of the officers, and when it appeared that he was reaching for a weapon, the second Cobb County police officer shot the male,” Sgt. Dana Pierce said.

See, I can cut and paste too Sgt. Pierce. What a joke. My anger at reading about another cold-blooded murder by cop will only be eclipsed by my anger when they cut and paste the "was acting within the scope of his duties...no further discipline is warranted" nonsense. Murder is just the end of a violence and abuse continuum, how many had to suffer this officer's verbal and physical assaults before he took this man's life? What warning signs were considered to be normal police behavior.
dick largent
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May 22, 2011
Police cover up as usual.
Stupid Pigs
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May 21, 2011
Sick of these power hungry pigs doing whatever they want. It's time for us people to rise up and show these scumbags who they work for. USA is approaching a full out police state. Watch out people.
anonymous
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May 21, 2011
I HOPE THE COP THOUGHT TO PLANT A GUN ON HIM.
Ucka
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May 21, 2011
Ahhhh yes. The old three warning shots in the head routine.
JustaGuy44
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May 20, 2011
Killed on "suspicion" of doing "something".

What is our world coming to?

And why have our police started to believe it is OK to kill the average citizen?
John Q. Public
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May 20, 2011
Under-trained Barney Fifes with guns shooting up the citizenry - another example of what we can expect from Cobb County cops. These "officers" are jokes. A real cop could have handled that situation without killing the engaged citizen.
WhiteGuy
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May 20, 2011
WOW !!!!!

So he was killed because he was suspected of being suspicious?

They had NOTHING else when they shot him in the chest SIX TIMES??

Good Job, CCPD !!! (rolls eyes)
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