CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Condolences are pouring in for the Clayton County police officer fatally shot Tuesday night while responding to a domestic violence call in Rex, Georgia.
Clayton County Field Training Officer Henry Laxson died when police exchanged gunfire with a suspect who also allegedly killed two women and shot a child in the face.
Jim Lee, who worked with Laxson, told 11Alive that Laxson was engaged to his fiancé just a few weeks ago.
Lee said that Laxson had been with the department since around 2017 when he was a rookie officer. According to the Clayton County Police Department's Facebook page, he was promoted to his current position in October.
The former officer described Laxson as a "big, happy Labrador who's spirit and energy were contagious."
"He loved his job and never got jaded by it," Lee added. "He always had a smile on his face and was passionate about his work."
Gov. Brian Kemp took to Twitter to offer his condolences to friends, family and colleagues. He shared that Laxson is said to be "one of Clayton’s finest and best officers."
Victor Hill, who served as sheriff in the county, echoed that statement.
"Laxson far exceeded all expectations of what an ideal police officer should be. I will greatly miss your smile young man. Rest easy son, the brotherhood will continue the watch from here,” Hill said.
Dozens of other police departments across the state offered their words following the tragic death.
"For it is not how Officer Laxson died that made him a hero, it is how he lived...serving the community he swore to protect," the City of Fayetteville Police Department wrote.
Clayton County Police received a call from someone who said there was a drive-by shooting near the 3600 block of Jervis Court in Rex around 8:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30. A second call said there was a woman lying motionless in the yard. A third call came in stating a child was shot at a secondary location.
After multiple calls to police were received, officers were on the scene trying to locate the woman and child. The child took officers to the scene and were met with gunfire from the suspect, striking two officers. Officers fired back and killed the suspect.
The second officer was shot in the hand and transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He was later identified as Alex Chandler.
Lee also worked with him and said they were shift mates when they worked together. He joked and says Chandler is fit and could always get the bad guys.
An online fundraiser has been set up for Officer Laxson. Those interested in donating can find the fundraiser here.