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ACCPD Officers Kill Eastside Man in Shootout

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Athens-Clarke County police officers killed a man Saturday who they say opened fire on them while they were investigating a noise complaint on the Eastside.

Officers received a call at about 8 p.m. Saturday about a dispute over noise between two neighbors on Royale Road, off Gaines School Road, where one had threatened to shoot the other.

When officers located the man accused of threatening his neighbor—identified as Nan Zhao, 45—and tried to question him, Zhao “produced a handgun and fired several shots at the officers,” according to police. The officers returned fire. Zhao was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

On Monday, ACCPD identified the officers involved as Sgt. Matt Smith, a 14-year veteran, and rookie officer Paul Harris. They have been placed on paid leave while the Georgia Bureau of Investigation conducts an investigation.

The shooting was the sixth by ACC police this year and the third this month. It was the 72nd of the year statewide, according to the GBI.