Hero Down: Henry County Officer Michael Smith Succumbs To Gunshot Wound
Henry County Police Officer Michael Smith died in the line of duty early Friday morning.
Henry County Police Officer Michael Smith died in the line of duty on Friday, three weeks after he was shot in the face during a fight with an irate suspect at a dental office.
“It is with deep sadness to announce that Officer Michael Smith passed away approximately 4:30 A.M. this morning at Piedmont Hospital…due to complications from injuries he sustained from a gunshot wound in the line of duty,” the department said in a media release.
“Please keep the Smith family in your prayers,” the statement read.
Less than a week earlier, Henry County Police Chief Mark Amerman released a video to update the public on the 32-year-old officer’s improving condition.
“Yesterday, he took 10 steps, which is really encouraging,” Chief Amerman said in the Dec. 22 video. “Your thoughts and prayers going out to him are very much appreciated.”
The chief also explained that Officer Smith’s wife had “passed out” and struck her head while she was visiting her husband on Dec. 21, and was subsequently diagnosed as having “blood clots.”
“She had to have an emergency procedure…which was successful, but she is admitted to the hospital and she’s going to be there for several days while she’s recovering,” Chief Amerman said in the video.
Officer Smith, 32, was critically wounded on Dec. 6, after he responded to a report of a disturbance at Smile Creators Family and Cosmetic Dentistry just after 8 a.m.
The employees called 911, and Officer Smith was the first to arrive at the scene.
The seven-year veteran of the force tried speaking with the suspect (McNelly) for a bit, but he ultimately became combative.
Officer Smith deployed his Taser multiple times during the encounter, but it “proved ineffective,”. McNelly lunged at Officer Smith, leading to a physical altercation.
During the tussle, a single shot rang out.
“With that one shot, both the officer and the suspect were struck,” Ammons said.
A fundraiser established to help Officer Smith’s family had raised over $21,000 as of Friday morning.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Henry County Police Officer Michael Smith, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Michael Smith, your life mattered. Rest In Peace Brother in Blue.
“Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be Called Sons of God.” - Matthew 5:9
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