HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - Henry County Sheriff Keith McBrayer is giving new insight into what happened inside the home in the shooting that took the life of a Locust Grove officer.
Officer Chase Maddox was killed when he responded to backup to two Henry County Sheriff's Office deputies who were serving a failure to appear warrant, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations said. Maddox was 26 years old.
"It just breaks your heart when you work with these guys every day. You never know what they're going to walk into or what they're going to face," said McBrayer. "I can't even fathom that you would open fire in a house with three children."
The sheriff spoke only to Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne about how the law enforcement community is doing in the aftermath of Maddox's death and about the outpouring of support they've received.
"It's a sad time in law enforcement, especially here in Henry County," he said. "I ask the community to continue to pray for the two officers who were injured and Officer Maddox's family."
McBrayer said Deputies Mike Corley and Sid Callaway went to the home of Tierre Gutherie about a failure to appear warrant involving one or more city citations that could've been cleared up by paying a fine. Instead, Maddox paid with his life, as did Gutherie.
Callaway is in the hospital with a bullet wound to the abdomen and Corley was saved by his vest.
The sheriff said, per Corley's account, the deputies spent 10 minutes in Gutherie's doorway, trying to reason with him, but he responded with the kind of language used by sovereign citizens, many of whom refuse to accept the authority of the government.
"It was made clear he had no intention of going anywhere with anybody," McBrayer said.
He said the deputies called for backup and Maddox responded. As they attempted to arrest Gutherie, a scuffle broke out. Gutherie retreated up some stairs, produced a gun, and, though his wife and children were in the house, he fired it.
Corley was hit in the vest.
"He was only a couple of steps up, I think, on the staircase, and the witnesses that we know of said they saw him come out the door and he was hollering and in pain and realized that he was OK enough to go back, so he turned around and went back inside but by the time he had got back inside the entire incident was over," McBrayer said.
The sheriff told Winne authorities had been to the house nine days earlier to serve an eviction notice. He also said that Callaway, a law enforcement veteran with the same training as a full-time officer, makes his living with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes now and is officially a reserve deputy, or a volunteer.
"He’s a real, true professional," McBrayer said.
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Special decals are for sale to help raise money for Maddox's family. The decals cost $2, and Channel 2 was told thousands of orders have already been placed.
Blue lights will shine on Monday night at businesses in Henry County to honor Maddox.
Funeral plans have not yet been announced. Maddox’s wife, who is expected the couple’s second baby any day now, said she wants to attend his funeral.
If you would like to help Maddox's family during this difficult time, the family has set up a bank account to receive donations for his wife and children. You may drop off donations at any United Community Bank location and ask that it be deposited into “The Maddox Family Fund." There is no need to provide an account number.
You can also donate newborn and infant items at the public safety building. Food donations must be coordinated through police. You can do that by reaching out to Bernadette at 770-957-7055.
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