There have been six officers killed in the line of duty in Georgia in 2018. Although they came from a variety of walks of life before joining the police force, they have many things in common.
Several are former military, others were veteran officers and some were new on the force. Each were killed while doing their jobs. Below is just some information about the officers killed in the line of duty.
DEKALB OFFICER EDGAR FLORES
Officer Edgar Flores of the DeKalb County Police Department was shot and killed by a man who ran from a traffic stop on December 13. The 24-year-old had been a police officer for nearly two years and his loved ones said it was his dream.
A K9 officer was shot after locating the suspect. After K9 Indi was shot, SWAT officers killed the suspect. Indi survived, but lost an eye.
HENRY COUNTY POLICE OFFICER MICHAEL SMITH
After he was shot, Officer Smith was listed in critical condition for weeks before being transferred to the Shepherd Center for recovery. The seven-year veteran of the department was married with a three-year-old child.
GWINNETT OFFICER ANTWAN TONEY
Officer Antwan Toney of the Gwinnett County Police Department was shot and killed while responding to a call of a suspicious vehicle parked at a school. He never got a chance to talk to anyone inside the car, because as he walked up to the car, bullets started flying. Another officer returned fire and pulled officer Toney out of the line of fire. But it was too late - he was hit.
Officer Toney had just celebrated his 30th birthday and was days away from his third anniversary with the department.
LUDOWICI POLICE CHIEF FRANK MCCLELLAND
Ludowici Police Chief Frank McClelland Jr. was killed during a high-speed chase on September 15. During the chase Chief McClelland was working to stop traffic along the route when the suspect’s car hit and killed him. A civilian on a motorcycle was also hit and killed.
Chief McClelland retired from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department before becoming the chief in Ludowici. The 69-year-old had more than 21 years of experience in law enforcement after serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.
SAVANNAH POLICE OFFICER ANTHONY CHRISTIE
Officer Christie has served with Savannah Police Department since December 2015 and was officially sworn in on May 19, 2016. Before his law enforcement career, the 37-year-old served 13 years in the Navy as a Master-at-Arms Second Class in the 4th Fleet.
LOCUST GROVE POLICE OFFICER CHASE MADDOX
Officer Chase Maddox of the Locust Grove Police Department was shot and killed after responding as backup to officers who were trying to serve a bench warrant for a minor traffic violation. Two other officers were injured in the shooting but survived.
Maddox, 26, was a five-year veteran of the Locust Grove Police Department after serving in the National Guard. Days after he was killed, his wife gave birth to their second child.
The Associated Press reports that nationwide, more police officers are being killed in the line of duty than every before. Below are numbers from previous years, according to GBI crime statistics.
- 2017 - 4 officers
- 2016 - 7 officers
- 2015 - 1 officer
- 2014 - 2 officers
The most common cause of death was gunfire, and vehicular accidents claimed nearly as many officers’ lives. The same is true in Georgia.
Four of the officers killed this year died in gunfire and two were killed in crashes.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said in a report that 144 federal, state and local officers have died so far in 2018. That figure represents roughly a 12 percent increase from the 129 who died in 2017.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.