Although a former Georgia cop accused of murdering a Black Afghanistan War veteran while he was naked claimed the man was a threat, no witnesses on the scene have testified that they felt threatened by Hill.
Jurors got to hear from Robert “Chip” Olsen, 57, Tuesday for the first time in an earlier recorded GBI interview.
He described the moments that led him to fire two deadly shots at 26-year-old Air Force veteran Anthony Hill March 9, 2015.
Olsen, a seven-year veteran with the DeKalb County Police Department, responded to the scene after a 911 call referenced a suspicious person in the 3000 block of Chamblee Tucker Road, according to the GBI.
“The caller said a black male was running around an apartment complex naked,” the agency said in an early press release.
When Olsen arrived, he said in the recording Hill started running toward him.
“I remember thinking when he started sprinting to me … I’m thinking, ‘This guy is big,’ ” Olsen said, according to The AJC. “This guy looks like he’s muscular, like a football player. Kind of built. I noticed that when he was running I saw muscles pumping.”
Olsen also said Hill was uncooperative.
“I remember seeing his left hand … and it was opened and empty,” Olsen told the GBI. “I do not recall seeing his right hand. He was still closing distance on me. I exited my vehicle and began backpedaling from him as quickly as possible. He was closing distance on me next to my unit. I yelled at him to stop. He did not. Kept closing distance. I drew my weapon. I yelled stop again and fired two rounds.”
Olsen, who was 5 inches taller than Hill and 40 pounds heavier, had been diagnosed as bipolar and was medically retired from the Air Force, according to local news outlets.
He was off of his medication at the time of his death, but Olsen did not know his medical history or medication status when he shot him, 11 Alive reported.
Olsen, who had a gun, taser, pepper spray and a baton on him at the time, explained in the 47-minute GBI recording that he was asked, ‘Well, why didn’t you Tase him?’
“Based on my training, the situation, what I observed this individual, that was not a viable option,” he said.
Araceli Vega testified through an interpreter that she witnessed the moments following the shooting from her apartment balcony and started using her cellphone to record, according to the news agency.
Vega said Hill and Olsen were six to seven feet apart and Hill was on the ground bleeding.
Olsen faces two counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of making a false statement and two counts of violation of oath by a public officer, 11 Alive reported.