Death of Georgia teen shot by police ruled a homicide by medical examiner

Vincent Truitt, 17, was killed in July when police attempted to stop him.

October 6, 2020, 9:52 PM

A case involving a Georgia teenager who was fatally shot by police has been classified as a homicide, concluding a monthslong investigation by a local medical examiner's office.

Vincent Truitt, 17, was killed on July 13 when police attempted to stop him and two other teens who allegedly were riding in a stolen vehicle, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. The driver led officers on a chase before pulling over, when two of the teens allegedly broke away on foot, investigators said.

One of the them allegedly brandished a firearm, and an officer fired his gun, striking Truitt, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

"It is my opinion that Vincent Truitt died as a result of multiple (2) gunshot wounds to the torso. Based on the information available at this time, the manner of death is classified as Homicide," the Cobb County Medical Examiner's Office said in a statement Monday.

Gerald Griggs, an attorney for the slain teen's family, said Truitt got out of the vehicle and ran away from the officers, but he never brandished a weapon. Griggs is calling for the release of any body camera footage and/or audio related to the shooting.

PHOTO: Police investigate a scene in this stock photo.
STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

"This quest for Justice for #VincentTruitt is about making sure his family gets answers. Vince was a 17-year-old son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin. His family deserves to know the truth about his death at the hands of Cobb police," Griggs tweeted after the medical examiner's announcement.

In a separate tweet he added: "The Family of #VincentTruitt demand the real facts about what happened to Vince. Help the family and follow @justiceforvince for updates on the case and how to help. #JusticeforVince. #justicefighter."

Griggs also shared an image of Truitt and his mother, Venethia Cook-Lewis, along with images of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and other Black men killed by police.

"My child died alone," Cook-Lewis told protesters at a rally over the weekend. "No parent should have to go through what I'm going through. No parent should have to bury their son, their teenage son, due to something that could have been avoided."

Cobb County police did not respond to ABC News' phone and e-mail requests for comment, and the department has not shared any details about whether it will release bodycam footage.

Speaking in a phone interview with Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB, Cobb County Police Chief Tim Cox said he hopes to have the case turned over to the local district attorney.

"I think what needs to be done is let the independent investigation be completed and turned over to the DA's office," Cox said.

Griggs say Truitt's family is shaken up over the ruling. They plan to meet with the Cobb County District Attorney this week about possible criminal charges in light of the homicide ruling.

The officer who fired his weapon was still on the police force as of Monday afternoon, according to WSB. The GBI said its investigation is ongoing.

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