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Cumming Man Shot Dead By Cobb County Officer

A 34-year-old Cumming man was shot and killed in Mableton Thursday night. Police reports state there was a physical altercation between the man and a sheriff's deputy.

Matthew Murdock, 34, of Cumming, is dead after being shot by a Cobb County police officer after what Cobb investigators report was a physical altercation.

According to a report from the Cobb County Police Department, at about 11:25 p.m., Thursday, officers from Zone 2 were dispatched to the Pucket Drive portion of Mableton Parkway after receiving information of a suspicious person in the area.

An officer confronted Murdock, who was pulling out of the parking lot at 642 Puckett Drive in a green 2003 Volkswagen Passat.

For reasons not included in the report, a Cobb County Sheriff's deputy arrived on the scene to assist with the traffic stop.

According to the Cobb Police report, the officer initially on the scene stepped away to verify information, which is when the deputy and the man became involved in a physical altercation.

At this point, another officer arrived on the scene.

The report stated that the man was not obeying commands of the officer and looked as though he was reaching for a weapon, which is when the second officer fatally shot the man.

The report does not state that a weapon was found on Murdock, who was transported by ambulance to Atlanta Medical Hospital, but died at 2:06 a.m., Friday.

The names of the officers involved are not being released, and the incident is being investigated by the Cobb County Police Department's Crimes Against Persons Unit in conjunction with the Cobb County Department of Public Safety's Internal Affairs Unit.

The officer who shot Murdock has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

A Friend May 23, 2011 at 10:46 PM
I was referred to this article by my mother who is a friend of the family in Cumming. I am sorry that I can't name a ACLU/civil rights attorney, but that is the type you need in the Atlanta area. This is an awful and very sad situation and will not be a short process to resolve. Gather as much information as possible and do everything by the book and show you are not in any way the way the police will try to portray you and your family. Good luck and so sorry for your loss.
Nedim May 23, 2011 at 11:00 PM
Mat was a great person, truth i don't know him too well, but i do not see what he could have done to provoke this shooting. My condolences to the family and friends.
N. Wakefield May 24, 2011 at 12:09 AM
Thank you, June. Matt spoke very highly of his time at E-Tech in Walnut Creek. You all took good care of him there. Thank you for your kind words. <3
N. Wakefield May 24, 2011 at 12:10 AM
My thoughts exactly kv !!!
Brandon May 24, 2011 at 12:24 AM
iv known Matt for a couple years now. worked with him a few times at Wagenwerks Atl. he was a damn good body tech and a good guy. im sure gonna miss him.
thomas lechelt May 24, 2011 at 01:03 AM
It is so bitterly ironic that this man who spent much of his own spare time educating the public on the scandals and shortcomings of government and big business be himself at the door of contraversy at his time of death. Somebody needs to carry the torch for Matt. He will sorely be missed!
bob May 24, 2011 at 10:19 PM
This is all, unfortunately, the result of a vague and unconstitutional law on Georgias books called "loitering and Prowling" If you read that law, you'll see that Police, because it is worded so vaguely, can get away with claiming ANYONE fits it, and then feel they are justified in doing whatever they like, as they have classified YOU as an offender in their minds. http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-11/article-2/16-11-36/ In other words, without you knowing you are doing anything suspect, the Police can profile you as suspect, and potentially dangerous, and you, the law-abiding citizen are then caught off gaurd by aggressive Police who have tagged you as a "criminal". Lets get these vague and unconstitutional laws off our books, and these trigger happy, rambo wannabe murderers off our police forces. Ms. Wakefield, my sincerest condolences to your family. I pray for justice, and not just the usual cover up.
Ih8cops May 24, 2011 at 10:51 PM
we should plan a rally at the District Attorney office in Marietta to do a thorough inquest into this incident....IT WAS MURDER and Officer Sean Henry should face the consequences!!!!!
bob May 25, 2011 at 01:39 AM
As to "lawful command" that the Police claim he failed to obey .....a LOT of what a PO orders you to do during traffic or any other kind of stops ....THEY HAVE NO LEGAL RIGHT TO ORDER YOU TO DO ....but they have seen their peers order such, and frightened people comply, so they begin to believe they have an authority they simply do not have. And if you question that "authority", or refuse to comply, MANY will physically attack you , and if you do ANYTHING to try and stop what is now, in actuality, an ASSAULT on you by the police officer, he or they will claim that it was YOU that was at fault. Please, please LORD, do not let this CRIME by the Police go unpunished !!!
Rachel Armstrong May 25, 2011 at 05:18 AM
I am Matt's cousin, we grew up together and are very close in age. I am outraged and saddened beyond belief. There is absolutely no way that I could ever imagine my cousin getting into any type of altercation, esp not physically, with an officer! The report is absolutely absurd and if there is any justice at all this officer will be fired from the force and will be tried/convicted of murder! Matt is one of the most kind hearted, loving, hilarious people I know...first to help a person in need. He was always protective of me growing up and never allowed others to tease/bully me. He would never hurt another and in no way deserved this! I am so sad for my family and our loss. Please know how much I love you and that you are all in my thoughts/prayers. I forwarded on some legal and counseling resources to my mom to share with you. I'm just not sure what else to do, but to pray that justice will be served and that when it is, we will some day/some how be able to feel at peace and experience closure. I love you guys, Rachel
bob May 25, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Ms. Wakefield, likely it was/is the "M" word, if only Manslaughter. I realise that with the grief, mourning, and outrage it is difficult to do much else. But someone with some standing NEEDS to get an attorney to get a Judge to order the preservation of ALL eveidence, videos, audios, etc. Otherwise, as in the past, these things have been erased/destroyed once the police come back with their "internal" investigation, and claim that their employee, ........who if they did wrong will not only bring down the wrath of the community upon them, but cost that governmental entity hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars, along with some on high in the Dept. and Government to lose their cushy Jobs ......was fully justified. The ACLU may be good place to start, but I would look for an Attorney that will represent the family, and seek justice. Also, once you or somone in the family can handle it, get interviewed by the local media on a video they will broadcat (they may not want to, though, as upsetting the police can cost them access, and they are NOT there to serve the public, but to make money), or if you cannot get the regular media involved, go on youtube. It is a sad state of affairs, but the fact is, a lot of the powers that be that should be HELPING you, will not, as it was not THEIR loved one, so they do not really care. Again, I am so sorry for your loss, and my prayers that you and your family will be able to fight for, and win, JUSTICE for Matt.
kv May 25, 2011 at 06:57 PM
Agree wholeheartedly w/ what BOB said above... Lawyer up. Contact news networks. Don't let this get buried by the PD.
Linda Stephens May 25, 2011 at 08:03 PM
I am appalled to think that the people sworn to protect us would deliberately destroy evidence in a fatal shooting. Lawyer up is right!
Ih8cops May 27, 2011 at 05:06 AM
any updates on the investigation???
Scott Murdock May 27, 2011 at 10:46 PM
I am Matt’s cousin; He and I had just made contact for the first time in our lives now this overzealous pathetic officer known as Cobb law enforcement has taken Matt from our family. I unfortunately know what my Aunt and Uncle are facing, I watched my own parents loose a child. NO PARENT should have to endure such pain. Words cannot express the frustration that I am having right now. Very hard to watch this from California unfold without being able to help somehow. I hope that the fortitude that my family has will not stop anyone from pursuing the justice that is needed before another family is torn apart. I respect law enforcement for what they have to encounter, I also know that if you don't have the self control not to pull your gun out on an unarmed person that you should look for work flipping burgers or some other menial job that suits you and not put the public in harm’s way. We look to law enforcement to protect us not kill us.
thomas lechelt May 28, 2011 at 02:16 AM
It is hard right now not to ask God why? But instead thank him for giving us Matt. I hope everyone in the next few days can replace the hate they are feeling and celebrate the life of Matthew for he touch everyone that knew him in some special way. godspeed
jeff jerkins May 28, 2011 at 04:11 PM
If these type of incidents are overlooked and swept under the rug, then respect for the law will only decrease. If Matt had been my son or brother, and this was treated as a simple unfortunate misunderstanding, then I fear to think of how I might react. Please think of it like this ......... "What if it were my son, or best friend, or family member?" How would you feel?
Lisa May 28, 2011 at 11:28 PM
May I please ask whatever happened to Elevation of Force? The definition for that is as follows "sequential actions that begin with nonlethal force measures and may graduate to lethal measures (direct action) to include warning, disabling, or deadly shots to defeat a threat and protect the force." Clearly the Officer who shot Matt did not learn this at his police academy.
Ih8cops May 29, 2011 at 03:30 AM
i spoke to an officer close to the investigation and apparently they found out that Matt had a concealed weapons permit so they asked him if there was a gun in the car, and he said " I don't know " It was reported that Matt was reaching around the car in an area where his hands were concealed and the officers game him verbal commands to refrain from those actions. Matt refused to show his hands and they thought that he was trying to retrieve a firearm. Officer Henry then shot him several times out of fear he was trying to get a weapon to harm them. The search of the car revealed no weapon in the area Matt had his hands so its unknown at this time why he was not listening to the officers commands and the biggest question is why didnt they use other means of force?? i.e. pepper spray, taser, asp baton, hand to hand combat, etc....just a suspicious death all around....the officer whom I spoke to said, " Henry will be ok and it will will be a justified shooting...I just don't understand how this death of an innocent man is justified!!! Hope the investigation is in favor of the victim and his family....
Linda Stephens May 29, 2011 at 06:08 PM
If Officer Henry comes out "OK" in this situation, no one in Cobb County will be safe. Who will be his next victim????? Will he be "justified" in shooting anyone he wants to now? What is wrong with Cobb County PD? Do they shoot you to death for no reason FIVE TIMES and ask questions later? Matt and his family are sure not coming out "OK" in this. The article on the candlelight vigil Friday night said that the PD now says there was no 911 "suspicious person" call. What else are they lying about?
Ih8cops June 08, 2011 at 05:35 AM
any updates on the investigation??? I saw he should be charged w/ murder!!!!!
Ih8cops June 08, 2011 at 05:35 AM
sorry....SAY he sould be charged w/ murder
Liz Kennedy (Editor) June 08, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Hi everyone, Thank you for your comments over the past several weeks - as an UPDATE: we will be following up with this story when we have the information to do so. If you knew Matthew Murdock or were related to him, please contact me at liz.kennedy@patch.com. We would like to share with our readers a little bit about who he was and how he will be remembered. Liz Kennedy, Editor, Cumming Patch
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino June 17, 2011 at 02:42 PM
I am a member of a Cobb Coalition which is a group of human and civil rights organizations in Cobb which looks into incidents like this and we have already contacted both the police department and our state legislator, Alisha Thomas Morgan, to set up a meeting with the chief and precinct commanders to discuss this seemingly senseless shooting and other shootings and issues. Our meeting will take place the last week of June. If we can be of assistance to the family feel free to let me know at pilgrim1@mindspring.com or 404-573-1199.
Liz Kennedy (Editor) June 18, 2011 at 05:36 PM
Hello Richard, I appreciate your comment and information.
Liz Kennedy (Editor) July 18, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Mike, while I appreciate your comment and opinion here - the use of inappropriate language to get your point across will not be accepted on Cumming Patch. I invite you to post again minus the curse words.
Gunn Smoker September 24, 2011 at 08:59 PM
I would like to see the GBI investigate this. It's a conflict of interest for this cop's actions to be documented and investigated only by his co-workers in the same department.
Kevin Strahan July 08, 2012 at 05:06 PM
How sad. Just read the article in the paper. The Officer should find other work as he doesn't seem to have the emotional restraint required of a professional police officer
SOGTP July 08, 2012 at 06:21 PM
This Deputy is in a heap of trouble. I'll bet this Deputy goes to jail.
Kim Pruitt-Musgrave July 08, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Kim Pruitt-Musgrave My prayers go out to this family. It is very sad a human life was taken due to an overzealous cop. If one of the family members would email me at kimmcafeepruitt@live.com I can refer you to someone that can help you in your fight for justice.

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