Henry County

Henry County police officer dies weeks after shooting at dental office

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — A 7-year veteran of the Henry County police force died Friday weeks after a shooting at a dental office.

Henry County Officer Michael Smith died at 4:30 a.m. at Piedmont Hospital due to complications from the injuries he sustained from a gunshot wound in the line of duty, according to the Henry County Police Department.

Authorities said the shooting happened when 53-year-old Dimaggio McNelly was struggling with Smith, when the officer's gun went off, hitting both of them. McNelly also died in the shooting.

Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes was at the funeral home in Henry County when the casket carrying Smith was escorted by his fellow officers.

Officers salute casket carrying fallen colleague

FALLEN OFFICER: Fellow officers saluted the casket carrying Michael Smith as it arrived at the funeral home today. Smith was shot in the line of duty three weeks ago and died this morning from his injuries. May he rest in peace. https://2wsb.tv/2Rorx0E

Posted by WSB-TV on Friday, December 28, 2018

The incident happened shortly after 8 a.m. on Dec. 6 inside the lobby area of the Smile Creators dental office located on Jonesboro Road in McDonough, Georgia.

Police said they were called out to the dentist's office for a disruption call after McNelly came in acting erratically.

[PHOTOS: Officer-involved shooting in Henry County]

"Something was unusual about this gentleman that frightened them enough that they called police," Capt. Joey Smith, with the Henry County Police Department, told Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach.

It is with deep sadness to announce that Officer Michael Smith passed away approximately 4:30 A.M. this morning at...

Posted by Henry County Police Department on Friday, December 28, 2018

The officer arrived, and the two got into a fight, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The officer tried to shock the suspect with a Taser more than once before one shot was fired, hitting both Officer Smith and McNelly.

[GoFundMe page for Officer Michael Smith]

“There was some type of struggle that involved the officer’s weapon,” Joey Smith said.

The suspect was killed and the officer was shot in the face area. GBI officials said Officer Smith was somehow struck with the same bullet that killed McNelly.

His car has been placed outside Henry County headquarters for anyone in the community to pay respects. In lieu of flowers, the department asks for donations for his family at The Southern Credit Union located at 2097 Hwy 20 West in McDonough.