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Police forced to shoot suicidal man, 2 relatives arrested

LAWRENCEVILLE — An armed Lawrenceville man was shot and killed by Gwinnett County police officers Thursday night after they were called to his home during an alleged suicide attempt. Two family members were arrested in the aftermath.

Police were called to 556 Trophy Trail at about 6:30 p.m. in response to an attempted suicide, spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said. When they arrived they found 32-year-old James Clark outside the home — not far from Five Forks-Trickum Road — and wielding a deer rifle, Smith said.

They negotiated with him for a short time before two officers fired, both striking him and causing fatal injuries.

“After 10 or 15 minutes something transpired (to trigger the shooting),” Smith said. “I don’t know exactly what it was yet, if he threatened them with the gun or approached them or what.”

Further details were unavailable Thursday night.

At the scene, Thomas D. Clark and Robert Keith Clark, believed to be the deceased man’s father and brother, respectively, were angry and began cursing officers posted around the crime scene tape, Smith said.

“It just went on and on and on, even to the point of making threats,” Smith said.

Both were ultimately arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, which Smith said was granting the grieving family leeway.

“We didn’t want to arrest them in the first place, so I don’t think we’ll take it any further,” he said.

Robert Clark told other media outlets he believed his brother was holding a pellet gun when officers shot and killed him. Smith, however, confirmed late Thursday that it was a Remington .270 deer rifle, with a scope attached.

The incident was the second officer-involved shooting in Gwinnett this year. In January, Gwinnett County police officers shot and killed Christopher Kenney, a Stone Mountain man wanted on several warrants, after he reportedly rammed his pickup truck into a number of police cruisers.

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Location of shooting

Location of shooting