Dougherty County Jail detention officer shot to death - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty County Jail detention officer shot to death

June 16, 2006 

Albany-- New information tonight in a shooting that claimed the life of a detention officer with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office. 25-year-old Tasha George may have been the victim of domestic violence.

Less than a month ago, Albany Police arrested her boyfriend for battery. He's one of two men in custody in connection with her murder.

At about 5 Friday evening, law enforcement responded to this normally quiet neighborhood in the 2400 block of Temple Avenue. "We did get a call in reference to shots fired," says Chief James Younger of Albany Police.

There they found Tasha George dead in a yard.  Albany Police say the Dougherty County jailer was shot at least once outside her home. "It's always a very serious matter when anyones life is taken so it certainly comes to home when it's a law enforcement officer," says Younger.

They're now trying to piece together exactly what happened but police reports from May 19th show a history of domestic violence at the home.  After 8 that night, police arrested live-in boyfriend Travis Smith.  Records show Smith pushed George through a glass table. She had an abrasion to her right eye and a deep cut on her stomach.

"Things like this happen all over the country but when it happens at home, it's really different," says Sheriff Jamil Saba. Saba says George was a hard worker at the Dougherty County Jail for about 4 years.  He's shocked that this happened especially since George just left work a short time before the shooting.

"She took off a little early to do some personal things and with a situation like that, she was working so much, so we just let her off," says Saba. We're told George was trying to end things with Smith. Just today she had the locks changed on her house and a security company was installing a burglar alarm.  Unfortunately, it wasn't soon enough.

"This situation happened with a young girl like that with a long life to live, I'm just very sorry it happened," says Saba.

"We have two people that are people of interest," says Younger.

One of the two people in custody is Travis Smith but family, friends, and co-workers are still left to mourn a tragic loss.  

We don't know the name of the second suspect police are questioning tonight. They have not filed charges against either man yet.

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