GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Savannah

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Savannah, GA (December 22, 2021) – The GBI is investigating an officer involved shooting in Savannah, GA. The Savannah Police Department asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. One man, identified as Shawn Martin, 45, died. No officers were injured.

Preliminary information indicates that on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, at around 8:30 p.m., Savannah police officers initiated a traffic stop on a stolen 2013 silver BMW X1 based on a Be on the Lookout (BOLO) from the Beaufort County (South Carolina) Sheriff’s Office. South Carolina authorities were investigating an aggravated assault incident where the victim suffered multiple skull fractures and had her car stolen. Police believed that Martin had the car.  

Officers did not find Martin in the car; however, the driver told officers that Martin was at the driver’s mother’s home. Subsequently, officers went to the home and received permission from the homeowner to search for Martin.

At 9:38 p.m., while searching the home, an officer opened a closet door when Martin came out swinging a knife. Officers gave verbal commands to drop the knife, but he did not comply. Two officers fired their weapons, both hitting Martin.  Officers administered first aid and Martin was taken to a local hospital in Savannah where he was pronounced dead.

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A knife was recovered from the scene.

The GBI will conduct an independent investigation. Once complete, the casefile will be given to the Eastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.