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Suspect killed in exchange of gunfire with Atlanta Police | News

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Suspect killed in exchange of gunfire with Atlanta Police

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- A woman was shot and killed by Atlanta Police along Pryor Street, not far from the Fulton County Courthouse late Thursday afternoon.


It all began with a call to police about a stolen vehicle, but it quickly escalated.

Ironically, the entire scene unfolded directly in front of the Atlanta Police Department's Underground Atlanta precinct. Police had the suspect, 25-year-old Alexia Christian, in the back of a patrol car, and that's when they said she began firing a weapon of her own.

The chaotic scene played out in front of hundreds of people in downtown Atlanta. Officers approached one of their own vehicles with weapons drawn.

Atlanta Police Major Darin Scheirbaum said it all started with a call about a stolen vehicle.

Christian was quickly contained and placed in the back seat of the patrol car.

"Shortly after that, that individual opened fire with a weapon – firing at least twice at officers," Scheirbaum said. "The officers retreated, and opened fire. They did strike the subject."

Christian was taken by ambulance to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she later died from her injuries. The two police officers were not hurt.

What was not clear, was how Christian still had a gun after being arrested and placed in the back of a patrol car. The APD is not saying if she was handcuffed at the time.

Police said that what has helped them in their investigation is that there were so many people walking up and down this stretch of Pryor Street when all of this happened. Thankfully, no bystanders were hurt, but police do have a lot of witnesses to help them reconstruct the crime scene.

Some of them saw a fragment of what happened. Others saw more of it happening, before their very eyes. And they heard what happened, too. People were ducking behind parked cars. One woman said she heard three or four shots. Another woman said she heard many more shots.

She said it looked to her like a man in the shootout with officers at first.

"The gentleman was shooting at the officer, and the officer started firing back," the second witness said.

Police are compiling all of the witness accounts, and checking to see which downtown surveillance cameras may have picked up the conversation – if any – and collecting and analyzing all physical evidence, the ballistics, and recording the officers' own accounts. Investigators will then determine what could have and should have been done to prevent all of this.