COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Two deputies with the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office were killed Thursday evening after being shot, Sheriff Craig D. Owens said.
Owens said the deputies were serving a warrant on Thursday night when they were ambushed.
Cobb County court officials identified the men arrested Friday as Christopher Cook and Christopher Golden. The two made their first appearance in court on Friday afternoon.
The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office and the Cobb County Police Department held a joint press conference immediately following the first appearance.
Investigators identified the deputies as Jonathan Koleski and Marshall Ervin, Jr.
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“What I can tell you in this moment is this -- in plain terms it is simple, my two deputies were ambushed this evening and killed,” Owens said. “The two suspects we believe are the perpetrators of this crime are currently in custody and are being held at the Cobb County Police Department for questioning.”
The sheriff’s office clarified Friday that the deputies were at the Marietta home to arrest Cook on an outstanding warrant for felony theft by receiving. As they were attempting to take him into custody, Golden started shooting at officers from inside the home. The deputies fired back, but both were shot and killed.
Golden has been charged with three counts of felony murder and three counts of aggravated assault of an officer.
No additional charges have been brought against Cook, but the sheriff’s office said the investigation is ongoing.
The two deputies, Owens said, had both been with the sheriff’s office for more than five years. Ervin was the father of two children.
Channel 2 Action News crews on the scene watched as multiple jurisdictions responded to the house where the deputies were ambushed. Channel 2 crews were also outside Wellstar Kennestone Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital where the deputies were taken.
Hours after the SWAT teams responded, the suspects were taken into custody around 12:15 a.m.
Owens said he doesn’t have the words at the moment to express the emotions, but asked for prayers for his deputies.
“Two wives have lost their amazing husbands,” Owens said. “Pray for us because we need it. Our hearts are broken here in Cobb County.”
Channel 2′s Kristen Holloway talked to a neighbor, Tiffany, who was stranded outside the neighborhood as the situation unfolded. She said it was amazing how the community came together and communicated about what was happening on social media. Neighbors provided snacks and drinks for investigators.
Still, she said the neighborhood is devastated by the loss of the two officers.
“We are all heartbroken, so somber here in the neighborhood because they were here, the (officers) were here to protect us and they were doing their job,” she said. “And we are heartbroken for the families.”
Channel 2 Action News has obtained the booking report for Cook, who is listed at living at the home on Hampton Glen court where the shooting happened.
Danger of Serving Search Warrants
Since Thursday’s tragedy, members of local, state, and federal agencies are weighing in on the dangers of serving arrest and search warrants.
“When we go to serve a warrant, we are going to someone else’s house and we don’t know who’s in that house. We don’t know what’s in that house,” explained U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Frank Lempka.
“The mindset really is the protection of our staff that are going with us to make that arrest ‚and the protection of that community and the protection of the person that we’re arresting as well,” added Kevin Angell, a retired police officer who now serves as an instructor and spokesman for the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.
Angell says GPSTC helps train officers and deputies for these types of dangerous situations.
“Early on in the basic academy at GPSTC, we talked about serving arrest warrants, serving search warrants, and then after you become a mandated law enforcement officer in the state of Georgia, we have specialty classes,” he said.
Channel 2 Action News also reached out to the U.S. Marshals Service, where in 2021, Marshals served more than 1,000 violent criminal warrants while working with local jurisdictions in Metro Atlanta.
“There are no routine warrants because, cases like this, remind us that people don’t want to go to jail,” said Lempka.
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