Officer in fatal shooting on leave

LAWRENCEVILLE — The Lawrenceville Police Department officer who fatally shot a domestic violence suspect last weekend has been placed on leave while an investigation continues, officials said Friday.

Police have still not identified the officer who they say shot 28-year-old Lawrenceville resident James Felio after he reached for a second officer’s weapon in the early morning of Dec. 10. Officers responded to the home on the 700 block of Charleston Court that day, finding that a female victim had been physically abused, Lawrenceville police spokesman Capt. Greg Vaughn said.

Felio resisted arrest, a struggle ensued and Felio attempted to grab one of the officer’s weapons from its holster. The other officer “fired at the suspect to stop the threat,” Vaughn said at the time.

The Gwinnett County Police Department is heading the investigation of the incident. While spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter was not sure of the specific status of the investigation Friday, he did say there did not appear to be any wrongdoing on the officer’s part.

“So far it appears that the deadly force was justified by the officer,” Ritter said.

The officer in question has been placed on paid administrative leave per department policy, Vaughn said. The use of deadly force is believed to be the first by a Lawrenceville officer in recent memory, he said.