SMYRNA, GA (WAOK) – Less than a year after the officer-involved shooting death of Nicholas Thomas at a Vinings Goodyear Service Center, the Smyrna officer who fired the fatal shot, Sgt. Kenneth Owens, is being promoted to Lieutenant.

In March of 2015,  Cobb County and Smyrna officers arrived at the facility on Cumberland Boulevard, where Thomas worked, to arrest him on a felony probation violation warrant.

Family members contend that Thomas was in a customer’s Maserati at the request of his boss, to pull the vehicle into a bay for service.

Police said that when they showed up at the service center, Thomas jumped into the car, started to drive off and would not surrender. As seen on surveillance video, the white Maserati drove through the parking lot back and forth in forward and reverse in what police said was an attempt to flee. At one point, the vehicle drove toward the responding officers. Owens fired the shot that killed Thomas.

In July, a Cobb County grand jury later found that the shooting by Owens was justified in the incident. At the time, Cobb D.A. Vic Reynolds called it a tragic situation, and he felt for the Thomas family, but agreed with the grand jury that Owens feared for his life when he fired the shots that killed Thomas.

Owens promotion  will become effective Monday, February 15, 2016.


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