COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Memorials are growing for two Cobb County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed while trying to serve an arrest warrant in Marietta. The community has left notes, laid flowers and posted flags both outside the neighborhood where the deputies lost their lives and outside the sheriff's office.
The outpouring of support for Jonathan Koleski and Marshall Ervin shows how much the two men's service and sacrifice meant to the community.
Anna Calcaterra looked on at the memorial outside the sheriff's office, beside both deputies' squad cars, as she remembered Koleski, her friend and running buddy.
"He was always jumping up in the air. He was nonstop crazy, and he pushed us so hard," Calcaterra said. "He would run slow with someone who was slower. He would keep up with anyone who was fast, and he’d motivate us to push ourselves to the brink of passing out.”
Calcaterra said Koleski spent his free time in the community, participating in races like a half marathon special Olympics run and a 5K benefitting dogs.
Ervin's family sent 11Alive the following statement:
"Marshall was a family man. He loved his wife and his children endlessly. He was a very private man and a fierce protector."
The deputies were serving a warrant last week when police said they were shot and killed outside a home in the Hampton Glen neighborhood. Two suspects, Christopher Golden and Christopher Cook, are behind bars facing charges in connection with the deadly shooting.
Meantime, a memorial outside the neighborhood grows by the day. Dog tags hang off crosses, a symbol of Koleski's previous service in the Army. A picture of the two deputies greets people as they drive by the neighborhood, along with dozens of flowers.
David Post with Care for Cops is working to help the deputies' families. He said the organization has helped 91 families since 2002, providing funds, counseling, among other services.
"The check we send them is kind of like a stopgap, because it could take weeks or longer before they get any type of insurance payments," Post said. “That might be covering their mortgage, it might be taking care of the kids in college or in school."
The Cobb County Sheriff's Office is warning about reported scammers trying to exploit the tragedy by creating fake accounts. It recommended giving to the Cobb Sheriff's Foundation to best help the deputies' families.
Calcaterra said she will honor the deputies, especially her friend Koleski, by continuing to run and push herself to her limits.
"Even if you didn't know them, you feel for their families," Calcaterra said. "Jon was the best runner, the best running friend and I will think about him, remember him and love him every single day. It was wrong; it wasn’t right, it’s hurting so many people who didn’t even know him."
Calcaterra said she will also remember her friend for the heroic life he lived and honor his memory by never forgetting the impact he had on her and their community.
"They had the hardest job, they put their lives at risk and this is where it got them. Everybody feels badly for that," she said. "He taught me, to go beyond what I think physically I can do and in the end I’m going to come out stronger.”
Funeral arrangements are set for the two deputies for later this week. It's expected hundreds of law enforcement will participate in a procession for both Koleski and Ervin Wednesday and Thursday.