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Georgia police officer killed, 2 deputies injured in shooting

Leon Stafford, Christian Boone and Alexis Stevens, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

ATLANTA -- A 26-year-old Locust Grove police officer was killed and two Henry County deputies injured Friday while attempting to serve a criminal warrant, according to investigators. The man who was supposed to be arrested was also killed in the shootout, police said.

Officer Chase Maddox, a five-year veteran of the Forest Park Police Department, died from his injuries. The death was the first of the year for Georgia officers in the line of duty. Maddox was a married father, and his wife is expecting the couple's second child, the city's mayor said.

One Henry County deputy was undergoing surgery Friday afternoon and a second was in fair condition, Henry County Sheriff Keith McBrayer said. Both were being treated at local hospitals.

The shooting happened Friday morning on St. Francis Court in Locust Grove, about 40 miles south of Atlanta, according to police. Deputies were serving a warrant shortly before 11 a.m. when shots were fired, police said.

After deputies talked to the man for about 10 minutes, they realized they were going to be making an arrest and "would have issues placing him in custody," McBrayer said. Deputies then notified supervisors and the Locust Grove officer arrived as a backup, he said.

"(In) trying to make an arrest there was an altercation and because of that altercation, we have two deputies that were shot and one Locust Grove officer that was shot," the sheriff said. "The Locust Grove officer died shortly after at the hospital."

McBrayer said police had no reason to believe the suspect was dangerous when they arrived to serve the warrant, which was for failure to appear. There were people in the house at the time, but no one else was injured, McBrayer said.

The suspect was killed by one of the officers, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said. It was not known how many shots were fired during the exchange.

Henry County Deputy Michael Corley, 49, was one of the officers shot, according to his brother Wade Corley. He said his brother was shot in the left side of his chest and the shot penetrated his bullet-proof vest.

"They were serving a warrant and it just went south," Wade Corley said.

Wade Corley said he got a call saying his brother had been shot.

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"So I'm going crazy and then they pass the phone to my brother," he said.

At the time Michael didn't know if he was going to make it and he asked me to pray for him, Wade Corley said. He also asked to see his sons.

"Get those boys to me as fast you can," he recalled his brother saying.

Michael Corley has been with the Henry Sheriff's Office since 1998, according to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead said one of the deputies shot is the father of one of the city's officers. Whitehead joined multiple local agencies in asking for prayers for those involved in the shooting and their families.

"This is terrible and our hearts go out to the officer's family and the Locust Grove Police Department, as well as the injured deputies," the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety posted on Twitter.

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