Police fired at least three bullets into a car Friday, killing a man suspected of kidnapping his two young children, who were in their car seats when police fired, authorities said.
Police said the two officers had to shoot and kill Jairo Antonio Bustos, 26, after he rammed another officer's vehicle and tried to run him over in the northern Atlanta suburb of Roswell.
Officers found Bustos in a parking lot after a nearby driver saw an Amber Alert describing the vehicle and called police, said Lt. James McGee, the city's police spokesman.
McGee said the two children — a 9-month-old and a 22-month-old — were strapped in their car seats in the back of the car when the officer shot Bustos. He was unsure whether the car was moving.
The episode unfolded after the children's mother, 22-year-old Adrian Stearns, called police Thursday to say Bustos had taken off with them in her Honda Accord. Bustos had recently been evicted from Stearns' apartment, said Gwinnett County Police spokeswoman Cpl. Illana Spellman.
A child abduction alert was issued and a motorist spotted a car matching the description on a busy north Atlanta highway on Friday morning, said McGee.
Police found the car in a parking space at an apartment complex, near where the children's maternal grandparents live.
"It went downhill from there," he said.
When the officer confronted Bustos, asking him to get out of the car, Bustos backed up the vehicle, knocking the officer to the ground. Bustos also rammed the patrol car that was blocking him in several times, authorities said.
At that point, two other officers took aim at Bustos and fired at least three times, McGee said.
The injured officer slightly hurt his knee and arm but will be OK, McGee said. The children are unharmed and with their mother and grandmother, he said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Roswell Police Department are investigating the shooting and the three officers have been placed on routine administrative leave.
McGee said the department would review the incident and declined to detail whether firing into a vehicle with children is against protocol.
"You have to make split-second decisions," he said. "The main thing we look for is whether the officer's life or someone else's life was in imminent jeopardy. And, at least preliminarily, it seems that's the case."
Associated Press Writer Dorie Turner contributed to this report.