A Chattanooga police officer intentionally shot a suicidal man. That's according to Officer Brian Cottell's attorney, Janie Parks.

The statement contradicts the Chattanooga Police Department’s remarks saying Officer Cottell "unintentionally" fired his gun while responding to a suicide threat Sunday morning.

But Parks says her client has been upfront about firing his gun on purpose because he felt threatened.

When Chattanooga police arrived to an apartment complex on Oakwood Drive, they found a man threatening to shoot himself. Parks says Cottell took cover.

“He was in a cover position behind a wall and the other officers were at the doorway and then behind into the hallway of the apartment complex,” Parks said.
Police say officers told the man to put down his gun, but he refused and fired a fatal shot. Parks says that's when Cottell fired his gun three times.

“It happened within split seconds I mean it was quick. Two of his shots hit the chair and then one in the leg, but I can't speak as to where he was aiming,” said Parks.

Parks, who represents several police unions, says Cottell followed protocol. She says the use of deadly force is possible when an officer is in a situation where a weapon is involved.

“Officers are trained to proceed with what level of threat am I facing as an officer? What level of threat are my other officers facing? And what level of threat this man poses to someone else,” Parks explained.

Cottell remains on paid leave, per CPD policy.

An internal affairs investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

Parks says Cottell looks forward to returning to work.

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