Sus­pect air­lifted to Grady, in crit­i­cal con­di­tion

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com Re­porters Kayla Robins and Rob Dewig contributed to this re­port.

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.

Bryan Fazio /The Covington News

The CPD and the GBI in­ves­ti­gated the scene near Brook­wood Drive af­ter an of­fi­cer-in­volved shoot­ing Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

Bryan Fazio /The Covington News

Covington Po­lice Depart­ment Cap­tian Craig Tread­well con­ducts a press con­fer­ence on a CPD in­volved shoot­ing Wed­nes­day.


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