CPD OFFICER SHOOTS SWORD-WIELDING MAN
Suspect airlifted to Grady, in critical condition
A man wielding a “medieval” type sword threatened a Covington police officer who then shot the suspect twice in the abdomen Wednesday afternoon.
The Covington Police Department, Newton County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were on scene at the 3100 block area of Brookwood Circle just off Legion Drive, shortly after the 12:36 p.m. shooting.
The suspect, Julian Leon Faulkner, Jr., of Covington, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta via lifeflight, and as of Thursday afternoon was in stable but critical condition.
According to CPD Capt. Craig Treadwell, Faulkner Jr. was seen walking in and out of traffic carrying the sword along Legion Drive. Callers to the 911 center even reported the man swiping his sword at some cars passing by.
Faulkner, Jr.’s neighbor Robert Cartledge saw him walk past his house with a sword – “like what you might get at a Renaissance fair” – as he was carrying groceries into his house. Cartledge said his wife then told him Faulkner had “taken a swipe” at her car with the sword, so Cartledge ran after Faulkner in an effort to calm him down and hopefully take him home.
Cartledge said he got to within “the length of a football field” of Faulkner when he saw the CPD officer’s flashers and knew he was too late.
“I was trying to get him to come home and go to bed or something. I was just a little late,” Cartledge said.
CPD arrived on scene reportedly two minutes after receiving a call on the suspicious person, and spotted Faulkner, Jr. near the tree line on Brookwood Circle.
Treadwell said an officer stepped out of his car, and the suspect became agitated and raised his sword above his head at the officer.
The officer then retreated around his patrol car from the suspect, drawing his weapon and issuing a verbal command.
“As he gave a verbal command with his weapon drawn, the suspect became more agitated and raised his sword above his head and attacked the officer again,” Treadwell said. “The officer had no choice but to fire his weapon.”
Treadwell said one of the shots grazed Faulkner, Jr and the other hit him in “just about as center of the sternum as you can get.”
Immediate medical attention was given to Faulkner, 44, by the responding officers, who reportedly was still “scuffling” after he had been shot, needing to be immobilized.
EMS and Covington Fire personnel were immediately notified and responded to the scene.
“It was touch and go there whether he would live or die,” Treadwell said.
The suspect was airlifted to Grady Hospital in critical condition and was being operated on during Treadwell’s press conference around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
An investigation of the incident was turned over to GBI, and the officer’s name was not released. He is a CPD veteran of more than 10 years and was not harmed in the incident. Faulkner lived in a location roughly half a mile from the scene. He will be charged by the GBI after his condition, which as of Thursday consisted of being on a breathing machine, improves.
According to CPD policy, the officer was placed on administrative leave until the investigation is completed. According to Treadwell, this is the first officer to be involved in a shooting for CPD in 2014.
Julian Leon Faulkner, who was shot after he allegedly attacked a Covington police officer with a sword Wednesday, was described by neighbors as a “nice guy” with depression issues.
“He’s a very nice guy,” said James Clark, who lives across the street from Faulkner. “He’s just got mental issues. The police department knew that, but not all of the officers knew that.”
Clark said officers familiar with Faulkner often stopped by to check on him, making sure he was OK. He said Faulkner had lived in his Thompson Avenue home for about a year.
“I saw him the day before and he seemed fine,” Clark said.
So did Robert Cartledge, another neighbor who described Faulkner as a friend.
“He’s a nice guy, he really is,” Cartledge said. “He’s a father, a pretty good dad in my opinion. He got his kids a couple weeks each month.”
Cartledge saw Faulkner just before he allegedly attacked the CPD officer.
“He’s really not a bad guy. He’s a normal guy dealing with problems,” Cartledge said. “Everybody in this economy is going through some kind of problem. I think he should get some help. Hopefully, this time he gets the help he needs.”
Clark said Faulkner had a few swords, but “I never paid much attention to that.” He’d never threatened anyone or walked around with a sword before, Clark said, so decorative swords didn’t seem a big deal.
The CPD and the GBI investigated the scene near Brookwood Drive after an officer-involved shooting Wednesday afternoon.
Covington Police Department Captian Craig Treadwell conducts a press conference on a CPD involved shooting Wednesday.