BUFORD — Jose Antonio Hernandez-Gonzalez reportedly told police Tuesday night they would have to shoot him before he dropped his loaded .357 revolver.
After a roughly six-minute standoff outside a Buford apartment complex Tuesday, 20-year-old Hernandez-Gonzalez pointed his gun at Gwinnett County police officers that had originally responded to North Alexander Street following a report of “several people smoking marijuana.” Four officers fired.
Hernandez-Gonzalez, another gun and “several small baggies of marijuana” later found on his person, police said, was killed.
“No shots were fired until that threat was directed at officers,” Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.
A basic sketch of the incident was released by authorities following the incident Tuesday night, but a clearer picture was painted Wednesday.
Police responded to the Alexander North apartments — just a block or two outside Buford’s main downtown square — at about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. They found five individuals in the parking lot and the first-responding officer began to frisk an adult Hispanic male, later identified as Hernandez-Gonzalez, Smith said.
Hernandez-Gonzalez reportedly “pulled away” from the officer, produced a handgun and placed it to his own head. A verbal exchange lasted about six minutes.
“During this time officers continuously ordered Hernandez to put down his weapon and Hernandez made verbal refusals,” Smith said. “Hernandez told officers that he would not put down the gun, and that they would have to shoot him.”
At that point, one officer deployed a Taser. One prong did not strike Hernandez-Gonzalez, Smith said. He was not incapacitated and instead pointed his .357 revolver toward the officers.
Four officers fired and Hernandez-Gonzalez was killed.
“I don’t have any information about how many times officers shot, or how many times the suspect was hit,” Smith said.
Authorities reportedly recovered a second handgun, a fully loaded .45-caliber semi-automatic, at the suspect’s feet and several baggies of marijuana in his pockets.
All four officer who fired shots have been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is completed. That is standard practice, Smith said.
The “deadly force investigation team” — made up of representatives from the homicide unit, crime scene unit, internal affair, district attorney’s office and medical examiner’s office — is investigating the case.
A police spokesman was unsure Wednesday if any of the men allegedly with Hernandez-Gonzalez were arrested on other charges after the incident. A bystander was arrested for disorderly conduct several hours after the shooting for “cursing loudly in the parking lot ... for an extended period of time,” Smith said.