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Man shoots himself at Briscoe Field

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A man shot himself in the face near Briscoe Field Wednesday, but police believe an even larger catastrophe might have been avoided.

At about 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, a family member of 51-year-old Mulugeta Ejigu called police and said the man told him "he had just killed his wife and wanted to kill himself." Reportedly upset about financial woes stemming from a gas station he had purchased, Ejigu intended to kill employees there, the family member believed.

An Gwinnett County police officer in the vicinity of the business -- Hewatt Enterprises, located on Briscoe Boulevard near the airport -- located Ejigu in the parking lot and "took cover behind his vehicle and began giving verbal commands to the suspect," police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.

"Less than a minute later, Ejigu shot himself in the face," Smith said.

At nearly the same time, other officers were entering Ejigu's home on the 600 block of Sunnyside Drive in Lawrenceville.

Ejigu's wife was found on the floor, "struck on the head and badly injured" but alive, Smith said. She was transported to the hospital and expected to survive.

Ejigu also survived his self-sustained gunshot wounds. He will be charged with aggravated assault when released from the hospital, with other charges possible, Smith said.