COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Vernon Keenan calls Minquell Lembrick - the man who shot and killed two police officers last week - a career criminal who "wreaked havoc" on the Americus community.
Lembrick, who committed suicide during a 24-hour manhunt for him, killed Americus Police officer Nicholas Smarr and Georgia Southwestern Campus Police officer, Jody Smith when they responded to a domestic disturbance call at Lembrick's apartment.
Authorities said Lembrick had an arrest record 32 pages long and had an active warrant on kidnapping charges when he shot the officers.
Clearly, Lembrick was a troubled man whose prior criminal behavior was documented. Police said they did not initially know it was Lembrick behind the apartment door that fateful day.
But they did their job and responded with professionalism.
So, once again, police officers, this time two of them, who risk their lives confronting the unknown every day are gone. Taken from their families in a senseless, selfish act by a known criminal.
This tragedy is not over for Officer Smarr and Officer Smith's families.
They must live, somehow, overcome with grief and loss.
The dozens of other responding officers must go on, too, and somehow focus on staying safe the next time they answer a routine police call.
The Americus Police, Georgia Southwestern University and the entire brotherhood of police and first responders deserves our respect and ongoing support during this most trying time and for years to come.
Say a prayer for the officers' families. The bravery shown by Smarr and Smith can never be re-paid but we need to do whatever we can to show them the respect they deserve.
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