Officers shot in Georgia were friends for years

AMERICUS, Ga. (MEDIA GENERAL) — The two officers shot while responding to a domestic violence call in Americus, Georgia, on Wednesday grew up together.

Americus Police Chief Mark Scott said Thursday that his department’s officer, Nicholas Smarr, went to high school and later the police academy with Georgia Southwestern State University Police Officer Jody Smith and the two were “very good friends.”

Jody Smith and Nick Smarr
Officer Jody Smith, left, and Officer Nicholas Smarr (Facebook/Chesley Smarr)

He said Officer Smith responded to the call at an apartment complex near the university to “back up his friend.”

Both men were shot. Smarr died Wednesday. Smith passed away from his injuries Thursday afternoon.

“When Jody heard the call, and he knew that Nick was on his way, even though we already had two Americus police officers [responding] as backup… [Jody] heard that call over the radio and he took it upon himself to respond and back up his friend,” Chief Scott said.

“I can’t say enough about them,” Scott continued. “They are model officers. They’re both heroes in my opinion. They were there together. They were there together through it and even after the shooting, they were there together throughout the whole ordeal.”

Georgia Southwestern State Police Chief Mike Tracy called Smith a “fine and intelligent young man” who planned get married in the spring.

“My heart goes out to their families,” Chief Scott concluded. “Our job now is to support them in any way that we can and to make sure that Nick is honored in the days to come and that his family is taken care of.”

Officer Smarr had served with the Americus Police Department for one year.

The suspect in the shooting, 32-year-old Minquell Kennedy Lembrick, was found dead inside a home Thursday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.