Community reacts after tragic Americus shooting - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Community reacts after tragic Americus shooting

A community mourns the loss of two officers after the hunt for the man suspected of killing them comes to an end. (Source: WALB) A community mourns the loss of two officers after the hunt for the man suspected of killing them comes to an end. (Source: WALB)
Jody Smith (left) and Nicholas Smarr (Source: Facebook) Jody Smith (left) and Nicholas Smarr (Source: Facebook)
After the two officers were shot on Wednesday the manhunt for the suspect began. (Source: WALB) After the two officers were shot on Wednesday the manhunt for the suspect began. (Source: WALB)
Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith (Source: WALB) Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith (Source: WALB)
Americus Police Chief Mark Scott (Source: WALB) Americus Police Chief Mark Scott (Source: WALB)
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

On Thursday night, residents in Americus will be able to go to sleep without the sounds of sirens and the fear of who could be outside their door.

On Wednesday Officer Nicholas Smarr with Americus Police and Officer Jody Smith were both shot. Smarr died at the scene and Smith succumbed to his injuries on Thursday. 

After the two officers were shot on Wednesday the manhunt for the suspect began.

Law enforcement were searching for Minquell Lembrick, 32, who they believed shot both men.

After receiving a tip to where Lembrick was located, agencies from all over came together to find the suspect.

When they finally did, he was found dead with an apparent self inflicted wound.

"I'm just glad that it's over with," said Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith. "I'm relieved."

A blanket of relief now covers law enforcement and the citizens of Sumter County after a 26 hour manhunt.

"It's such a tragedy that these things happen but I'm relieved that nobody else got hurt because it could have been bad," explained Sheriff Smith.

Now, residents won't go to bed with the same worries as they did on Wednesday.

"My friend had some guns so I borrowed one and I slept with a pistol under my pillow," said a student.

"I just pray and that's all I can do,' explained an Americus resident.

Americus Police Chief Mark Scott said the entire ordeal has taught the community a lot.

"You learn how strong community is," said Chief Scott. "You long learn how resilient police officers are wrong they are and how strong they are family."

He said the manhunt is nothing his officers have seen in Americus, but they were ready.

"It's Something that we train for all the time but, never something we expect to happen in our jurisdiction," said Scott.

Nearly 20 agencies across the state crossed their borders to help out in the relentless fight.

"I wasn't prepared for how quickly they got here and just the sheer number of how quickly people flock to Americus to try to help," explained Scott. 

"They are like family too, they come when you need them," said Sheriff Smith.

And now, the law enforcement families are grieving the loss of two of their own but happy this fight is over. 

The Americus community has set up a crowdfunding site to support the families of Smarr and Smith, if you would like to make a donation, visit the Americus and GSW Officers YouCaring page.

Copyright 2016 WALB. All rights reserved.

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