Atlanta Police Officers Richard Halford and Shawn Smiley were helping to search for a missing boy when their chopper went down.
ATLANTA -- Two Atlanta Police officers were killed when an Atlanta Police helicopter crashed near the intersection of Martin Luther King and Hamilton E. Holmes drives on Atlanta's West Side late Saturday.
The Atlanta Police Department identified the officers as Officer Richard J. Halford and Officer Shawn A. Smiley. Officer Halford had served with the APD since 1986. Officer Smiley joined the department in 2010.
In a news conference, Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said the helicopter was involved in a search for a missing 9-year-old boy when the crash happened at about 10:30 p.m.
Police said the boy disappeared at about 7 p.m. and was found shortly after the crash.
His mother said he had run away before. She was griefstricken that the two officers were killed while trying to help find her child.
No one on the ground was reported hurt in the crash, which is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Witnesses said the helicopter was flying low and clipped power lines as it crashed to the ground.
Georgia Power said about 1,250 customers lost power as a result. They said they were not able to get to the crash area to handle repairs right away, since authorities were still working in that area as part of their investigation.
Once Georgia Power crews were able to enter the area, they were able to move fairly quickly on repairs, and were able to restore service for most customers by about 2 a.m.