FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- A Fulton County police officer has died after being shot in the head by a suspect.
According to Fulton County Assistant Police Chief Gary Stiles, the shooting took place on Parks Trail in the Cedar Grove subdivision near Fairburn.
Police responded to a shots fired call at 12:43 a.m. Wednesday. They were told the suspect was possibly intoxicated. Neighbors said the man was going from house to house, banging on doors and firing a long barrel gun.
The suspect then began shooting at the officers, striking one in the head.
Stiles described the situation as an ambush in the dark and foggy weather conditions, saying the officers "were trying to do their job, they were trying to protect this neighborhood from someone who was shooting. And they had no other option but to do their job. And the way it appears to me, they were ambushed without warning."
The injured officer's ambulance was given a police escort to Grady Memorial Hospital. He was pronounced dead shortly after 4:30 a.m. His name has not yet been released, but Stiles said he was a veteran officer with 22 years of service.
"This is not the first officer we have lost, and the men and women who work for this department are going to be heartbroken," Stiles said.
Fulton County Police Chief Cassandra Jones echoed Stiles' statement, saying the officer was well-liked among his colleagues.
"You can never prepare for something like this," Jones added. "We're not handling it very well."
The officers returned fire and hit the suspect, who is being treated while in custody at Grady Memorial Hospital. His condition is unknown.
Stiles said police do not believe there are additional suspects in this case. Dozens of police officers continue to investigate in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred.
Alfred Printup, who lives in the subdivision, said he was at work when the shots rang out. He was on the phone with his wife and could hear the gunshots.
"I just want to thank that police officer who gave his life to keep my family safe," Printup said.
The weapon used to shoot and kill the officer has been recovered. Stiles described it as a long gun, but did not immediately known the caliber.
According to the Fulton County Police Department's website, Wednesday's victim was its first officer killed in the line of duty since April 2003, and the fourth officer killed since the department was formed on July 1, 1975.
Atlanta Alive has multiple crews following this story to help provide updates all morning long.