Sheriff: 2 Ga. deputies killed while serving warrant By:


By Hunter Riggall
Marietta Daily Journal

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MARIETTA, Ga. — Two suspects were taken into custody late Thursday after a shooting that killed two Cobb County Sheriff’s Office deputies at a west Cobb home, Sheriff Craig Owens said.

According to police, the suspects barricaded themselves in the home after the shooting.

Following a lengthy standoff, they were apprehended peacefully, Owens said.

The sheriff’s office announced the death of the deputies around 9 p.m. Thursday, saying they were killed while serving a warrant. The shooting occurred in the Hampton Glen subdivision near the the intersection of John Ward Road and Irwin Road, close to Cheatham Hill Elementary School.

At a press conference around 12:30 a.m. Friday, Owens said it was “a night of heartache for two families,” describing the officers as “young, bright deputies.”

Owens said the names of the fallen deputies were still being withheld at the request of the families, who were still notifying relatives. Both men are survived by their wives, he said.

The suspects, whose names have not yet been released, were being held for questioning by the Cobb County Police Department, which is handling the investigation.

According to the sheriff, the deputies had been serving a warrant for failure to appear related to a theft by deception case.

“In plain terms, it’s very simple. My two deputies were ambushed this evening and killed,” Owens said.

According to Owens, the deputies knocked on the door of the home and rang the doorbell, but nobody responded.

“As they were going back to the car, a vehicle drove up, which they assumed was the suspect who lived there. And as they got back out of the car … shots were fired,” the sheriff said.

It wasn’t clear if the deputies returned fire. But they did call for help, Owens said.

Both deputies had been with the sheriff’s office for more than five years, Owens said.

“What words can you say when you lose your family member? And those words don’t come easy. But just speaking straight from the heart, I would just say just pray for us, because we need it. Our hearts are broken here in Cobb County,” Owens said.

Owens could not provide an exact timeframe of the shooting and subsequent standoff. The address of the home was also not immediately available.

Speaking at one of the buildings in the sheriff’s office complex, which also includes the Cobb County jail, Owens was flanked by Chief Deputy Rhonda Anderson, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Mike Register, and three metro Atlanta sheriffs who attended in support — DeKalb’s Melody Maddox, Paulding’s Gary Gulledge and Forsyth’s Ron Freeman.

Law enforcement officials trickled into the building ahead of the somber press conference, embracing one another.

“When law enforcement officers are lost in the line of duty, everybody comes together, everyone in law enforcement, particularly Georgia sheriffs,” Freeman told the MDJ. “And so Chief Gulledge and I are just simply here to offer whatever support our agencies in Paulding County and Forsyth County can offer, be that manpower, peer support or just personal condolence support.”

Added Gulledge,”It’s heartbreaking. It’s got to stop. They gotta quit killing cops for no reason.”

Owens, whose birthday is Friday, had been at his birthday party earlier Thursday evening, before leaving early.

The shooting brought a massive police response to the neighborhood, including officers from Cobb County, Marietta, Kennesaw, Austell, Powder Springs, Cobb County schools, Georgia State Patrol and a host of metro area sheriff’s offices.

“We need to do something, ladies and gentlemen, about these guns on the street,” Owens said. “So whatever we can do to prevent gun violence, and you can see it’s affecting us here in Cobb, it’s affecting everyone across the United States of America, we definitely need to do something regarding that.”


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