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Sheriff identifies Cobb County deputies killed while serving warrant

The two were killed in what's been described as an "ambush" attack.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Authorities have identified the Cobb County deputies killed in the line of duty Thursday night.

Loved ones are mourning U.S. Army veteran and law enforcement officer Jonathan Koleski, who had been with the sheriff's office since 2007. The 42-year-old had served three tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. 

On Friday, Sheriff Craig Owens identified the second deputy as Marshall Ervin, Jr. Officials said the 38-year-old had been with the sheriff's office since 2012.

"They were outstanding men, men of character and integrity," Owens said.

Owens said in a press conference his force was "heartbroken." He described the two deputies as young husbands who had both served the sheriff's office for more than five years.

"Our hearts are broken here in Cobb County," Owens said. "It's a night of heartache for two families, two wives who have lost amazing husbands."

RELATED: Two Cobb County deputies killed in line of duty | What we know

The sheriff described an ambush-style attack on the deputies, who were at the home in the area of John Ward Road serving a warrant for someone who had not appeared for a court hearing on a theft charge.

Owens said the two deputies went up to the home, rang the doorbell and no one answered. They were then fired upon as they returned to their patrol vehicle, evidently from a car pulling up to the home at that same time.

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office
Cobb County Deputies Marshall Ervin (L), Jonathan Koleski (R). Both were killed in an "ambush" while trying to serve a warrant on Sept. 9, 2022.

It was unclear if both suspects were in the car that fired on the deputies, and then went into the hose, or if it was one person in the car and one already in the house at the moment events unfolded.

Residents in the area who spoke to 11Alive's Hope Ford said it sounded "like fireworks" before dozens of law enforcement vehicles arrived at the scene.

An hours-long standoff ensued, and eventually, two suspects were taken into custody. Those suspects have since been identified as Christopher Cook and Christopher Golden.

Owens said the entire community was feeling the force of the tragedy.

"When one agency loses someone, we all lose someone," Owens said. "When this tragedy hurts our community, it hurts their community as well."

Sheriff Owens said “pray for us because we need it. We’re heartbroken.” 

He added that Gov. Brian Kemp called personally to ask if he needed additional state support.


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