Friends, colleagues speak out on Americus officer shooting

Friends, colleagues speak out on Americus officer shooting
Both parents of the officers worked in law enforcement (Source: family)
Both parents of the officers worked in law enforcement (Source: family)
Agencies all over paid their respects to the officers (Source: family)
Agencies all over paid their respects to the officers (Source: family)
Sheriff Pete Smith (Source: WALB)
Sheriff Pete Smith (Source: WALB)

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - More information is being learned about two Americus officers as the community continues to deal with the sorrow.

A makeshift memorial was set up outside of the Americus police headquarters as the community mourned.

There were candles, flowers, and a photo of the two officers who were inseparable up until to their death.

Flags were flying at half staff all over the state Friday as communities paid respect to the fallen officers.

"I mean there is nothing else you can say but they are heroes," said Pete Smith.

25-year old Nicholas Smarr and 26-year-old Jody Smith worked under Pete Smith at the Sumter County Sheriff's department.

"Great personalities, loved being together. I mean they laughed and joked and hunted and fished and just wherever you saw one you saw both of them," said Smith.

The two graduated from the police academy together and although most recently they worked apart, they still lived under the same roof.

The two even had plans to get married around the same time.

"You got two young ladies that aren't going to get married this spring that had already had their weddings planned. That's sad that's a tragedy," said Smith.

A tragedy is how Smarr's cousin describes it too as he visits the memorial site and remembers his cousin's smile.

MORE: Police shooting witness: 'I was shocked'

"What you see in the pictures that smile. That's all you would ever seen was that smile," said Brian Reeves, cousin of Smarr.

It's often said it takes a special person to work as an officer.Reeves says his cousin was just that.

"Had the charisma and the courage and the personality to do the job right on to the fullest," said Reeves.Sheriff Smith says Jody was the same way.

Both of his parents worked in law enforcement.

His mother still a sergeant in Sumter county.

"They are having a very hard time dealing with it that was her only son that was Johnny's only son they have two daughters," said Smith.

There are several memorials and events planned as the community comes together to remember the two officers.

A vigil for the two officers is scheduled for Friday night at Georgia Southwestern State University.

A mass alert system warned students, faculty, and staff that the school was being placed on lock-down during the shooting.

A university-wide lock-down is something that's practiced but not often carried out. It was carried out in full at Georgia Southwestern State University Wednesday morning.

With the last day of finals, there were not as many students on campus, but there were enough to shake things up.

The university issued a number of alerts through their email and phone system as well as a campus-wide announcement.

Both students and school officials say it couldn't have been handled better.

"They called my parents and everything. My parents knew the same time I did so it was really good how they handled things," said junior student Nate Ashely.

"Even if there was no new news we did our best to let people know that the situation has not changed and that we were staying on top of it," said Stephen Snyder, GSW Director of University relations.

University representatives offer their condolences to the family of their fallen officer.

Copyright 2016 WALB.  All rights reserved.