On December 7, 2016, Officer Nicholas Smarr of the Americus Police Department was dispatched to a domestic dispute involving a subject with criminal arrest warrants. Officer Jody Smith from the Georgia Southwestern State University Department of Public Safety responded to assist Officer Smarr on the call.
The complainant remained on the call, notifying the dispatcher as to who the subject was and what events were taking place at the residence. The dispatcher kept the responding officers updated, advising them that the male suspect was punching holes in the apartment walls and had an active felony warrant.
When the officers arrived on scene, they approached the residence to make contact with the suspect. The officers entered the apartment and observed the suspect at the rear door. The suspect then fled, and the officers gave chase, pursuing the suspect to the rear of the apartment complex. The suspect started firing at the officers and struck both officers in the head area. Despite his wounds, Officer Smarr was able to return fire, ultimately not striking the suspect. The suspect then fled the scene.
Although mortally wounded and not knowing where the suspect was, Officer Smarr turned back to help Officer Smith. Ignoring his own wounds, Officer Smarr began performing CPR on Officer Smith until he collapsed and succumbed to his own injuries. Both officers were transported to a regional hospital where Officer Smarr was pronounced dead. Officer Smith was subsequently flown to a trauma center in Macon, Georgia, where he died the following day. The suspect fled the scene but committed suicide the next day following a SWAT raid at a local residence.
Officer Smarr demonstrated great courage and perseverance, ignoring his own critical injuries in order to attempt to render lifesaving aid to the other mortally wounded officer. Showing greater concern for his fellow officer, he continued his selfless actions until succumbing to his own injuries.
The actions of fallen Officer Smarr demonstrated extraordinary bravery, decisiveness, and a willingness to protect the lives of others, without regard to his own personal safety.