COBB COUNTY, Ga. - The Cobb County Police chief is calling the SWAT team heroes after they pulled a young lady and child from a home Tuesday in what was a deadly, violent afternoon for the usually quiet neighborhood.
It happened just after 4 p.m. at a home in the 300 block of Lane Drive off of Mableton Parkway. Cobb County Police Chief Michael Register said they received a call reporting a domestic situation and shots being fired. The chief said as officers were en route, callers told 911 operators someone was being shot.
When officers arrived, they found an elderly woman just inside the home. Chief Register said they were able to pull the woman from the home, but it was too late.
"They actually went to the aid of the victim and bring the victim outside where it was obvious the victim was deceased," said Chief Register.
The SWAT team was called after it was determined a young woman and a 7-year-old girl were being held by an armed man inside the home, police said. Officers tried to establish communications with the man but were not successful.
The SWAT team arrived and the decision was quickly made to make entry into the home, the chief said.
"Well, they saw a window of opportunity where the suspect was at. They felt they could make entry and possibly affect a rescue which they did," Chief Register said.
"During the rescue, they were confronted by the armed suspect and he was shot by the SWAT team," the chief said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations identified the man killed by police as 26 year old James Edward Martin of Austell.
"It is a split second decision-making process that you are under and when you're faced with," the chief said during a press conference. "He had already killed one person, and I think that's a very real danger that if they had not made entry, he may have killed the kid and the young lady."
Chief Register commended the actions of his team and how they put their lives on the line to rescue the woman and the child.
"I think it was a brave decision by the SWAT team to go in and put their life on the line to save that lady and kid," the chief said.
The Cobb County Police Department will be investigating the murder, domestic dispute, and hostage situation, while the chief said he asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into the officer-involved shooting.
The names and ages of the women involved have not yet been released, but police did confirm the woman killed was the mother of the young woman and grandmother of the 7-year-old girl.
Residents told FOX 5's George Franco they never before have seen so many police officers in their neighborhood.
Family friend Debbie Rogers said the woman was killed was generous to everyone.
"She was a loving caring honest trustworthy like I said she would have gave her shirt off her back for anybody," said Rogers.
She was in disbelief and distraught. Rogers said the woman who was killed was in her 80s. She said Martin had been in and out of the home recently and things were tense as the girl's mother and Martin tried to reconcile.
"Then they thought they were going to try to get back together and she told them to leave again Sunday," said Rogers.
Now she says the tattered family has some tough days ahead.
"You know with something like this it's going to be real hard," said Rogers.