Expecting a new baby any day, a Georgia police officer is gunned down

Chase Maddox was a natural-born police officer, said a childhood friend. The McDonough-bred newlywed, whose second child is due any day, was the only one of Locust Grove’s 23 officers hired straight out of high school, a fulfillment of his desire to protect and serve. 

Early Friday afternoon, Maddox, 26, was deployed to back up two Henry County deputies attempting to serve what they assumed would be a routine arrest warrant. But the suspect — who had failed to show for a court date — was recalcitrant and after about 10 minutes it was clear the deputies were going to have to force him out of his home on a nondescript Locust Grove cul-de-sac, Henry County Sheriff Keith McBrayer told reporters. 

Then, as one of the deputies would tell his brother, “it all went south.”

RELATED:  A tiny county reels after detective shot dead

RELATEDJustice elusive for lawman gunned down more than 40 years ago

Bullets were exchanged, and all four men were hit. The suspect, who authorities identified late Friday as 39-year-old Tierra Guthrie, was killed. The two deputies, Michael D. Corley and Ralph Sidwell “Sid” Callaway were saved by their bullet-proof vests. Maddox was shot in the head. 

He was pronounced dead upon arrival at Atlanta Medical Center, the first Georgia peace officer killed by a gun in 2018. Corley was shot in the side, the bullet piercing through his protective vest, said his brother, Wade Corley. He underwent surgery Friday but his injuries are non-life threatening. Callaway was treated and released. 

Josh Garrison said he and Maddox became friends when they were 9 years old. Maddox was the more outgoing one, “always willing to try anything,” he said. “You wanted to hang around Chase. He was crazy in a good way.”

Maddox’s decision to become a police officer came as no shock to Garrison. 

“I wasn’t surprised when he went straight into the force. I knew he would be perfect for that,” he said. “He wanted to help people, so that made sense why he chose that job.”

Friends remembered Maddox’s quick smile and easy-going manner. Becca Bonner, who said she’s known Maddox since kindergarten, couldn’t fathom the reality that her friend wouldn’t be going home Friday night to his pregnant wife, Alex.  

“I am angry that we live in a world where a police officer can’t do the most basic duty and serve an arrest warrant,” Bonner wrote on Facebook. “I am angry that people can be so selfish and cold. I am angry that men and women who live every day protecting even the most unworthy of people have to wonder if they will make it home tonight.” 

Read and sign the online guestbook for Chase Maddox

Michael Corley was still in shock when he talked to his brother on the cell phone, minutes after he was shot in the side. 

“Get those boys to me as fast you can,” Michael Corley told his brother. Wade Corley said he was with his brother’s sons at the time. 

Michael Corley is a 20-year law enforcement veteran, just six years from retirement. Callaway is in his second stint with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department. 

McBrayer said his deputies had no reason to believe the suspect was dangerous when they arrived, considering the warrant was for failure to appear on unpaid parking fines. An as-yet undetermined number of gunshots were exchanged once the deputies and Maddox made entry into the house on St. Francis Court. There were additional people in the house at the time but no one else was injured, McBrayer said. 

The GBI is investigating the incident, as they do whenever an officer is involved in a shooting. 

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Maddox was the 8th officer in the United States shot and killed in the line of duty this year.

-Atlanta Journal-Constitution Data Specialist Jennifer Peebles contributed to this story

Next Up in Local

Gilvin is Alpharetta’s new mayor; Richard, Hipes elected to council
Gilvin is Alpharetta’s new mayor; Richard, Hipes elected to council

The city of Alpharetta has a new mayor and two new council members. In Tuesday’s special election, former councilman Jim Gilvin edged out former councilman Chris Owens for the mayoral seat, according to unofficial results posted by Fulton County.  Gilvin, who garnered 53.2 percent of the vote, will succeed former Alpharetta mayor David...
Roswell fights fake news, launches ‘rumor page’ on city website
Roswell fights fake news, launches ‘rumor page’ on city website

The city of Roswell’s website has a new page. In an effort to battle fake news, misconceptions and misinformation, the city has launched “Roswell’s Rumor Page.” You can find it at roswellgov.com/government/roswell-rumors. The page is an FAQ of sorts, with several rumors listed and then a fact dispelling each rumor below...
Cobb County restaurant inspection scores

Cobb County • Good Food, 2044 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta. 84/B • Peace, Love & Pizza, 1050 E. Piedmont Road, Marietta. 95/A • Red Lobster, 2579 Cobb Parkway, Smyrna. 81/B • Taco Prado, 6912 Mableton Parkway, Mableton. 80/B • Wendy’s, 55 Powder Springs St., Marietta. 83/B
DeKalb County restaurant inspection scores

DeKalb County • Bar Tropical, 4166 Buford Highway, Atlanta. 85/B • Contigo Peru, 3567 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Chamblee. 97/A • Fireside Restaurant, 7046 Covington Highway, Lithonia. 81/B • Mi Taco Mexican Taqueria, 3201 Tucker Norcross Road, Tucker. 76/C • Saba, 1451 Oxford Road, Atlanta. 71/C
Fulton County restaurant inspection scores

Fulton County • Char Korean Bar & Grill, 299 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta. 85/B • Egg Harbor Café, 1820 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. 87/B • Gom Shabu Shabu, 10900 Medlock Bridge Road, Johns Creek. 97/A • Sisters of the New South, 2880 Holcomb Bridge Road, Alpharetta. 79/C • Vitality Bowls, 855 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 93/A
More Stories