Author: Uniform Stories Staff

Associated Press

MCDONOUGH, Ga. — A police officer was shot and critically wounded Thursday morning in a dental clinic near Atlanta during an encounter with a suspect, who was killed, authorities said.

The wounded Henry County officer was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta after being shot around 8 a.m., police said. The hospital is among the main trauma centers for the Atlanta area.

The officer was in critical condition, Henry County police Capt. Joey Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution . He was shot in his "face/neck area," Smith told reporters at the scene.

It began when people in the dental clinic called 911 about a man there, Smith said.

"Something was unusual about this gentleman that scared them enough that they called police," he said.

When the officer arrived and tried to approach the suspect, the two struggled and gunshots were exchanged, Smith said.

Henry County police were asking the public to avoid the area. Officers used crime scene tape to cordon off a parking lot outside the dental clinic.

Police requested that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation review the shooting, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said.

Henry County is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta.

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