Americus moves forward after tragedy, remembers officers

Americus moves forward after tragedy, remembers officers
Sharon Johnson (Source: WALB)
Sharon Johnson (Source: WALB)
Officers Nick Smarr and Jody Smith (Source: family)
Officers Nick Smarr and Jody Smith (Source: family)

SUMTER CO., GA (WALB) - As families of officers Nicholas Smarr and Jody Smith prepared to bury their loved ones, the community of Americus continued mourning the loss of the officers.

While moving forward after the tragedy will not be an easy task, those close to the officers are expressing how they plan to do so.

Family, friends, and even those who didn't know officers Nick Smarr and Jody Smith continued mourning their deaths throughout the weekend.

"We will forever remember the sacrifices that they made in our community to ensure our safety," said GSW Interim President Dr. Charles Patterson.

A vigil Friday night at Georgia Southwestern State University brought insight into the suffering their families were facing.

"I would love to be able to hold Nick and tell him how much I appreciate that he gave his last breath to my son. I will never forget it and I know that Jody  would have done the same," said Sharon Johnson, Officer Smith's mother.

Officer Jody Smith's mother referred to the story told by a family member of Nick Smarr that Smarr spent his dying breaths giving his best friend, Officer Smith, CPR.

"You're dying of a gunshot wound, you're trying to blow air into your brother, your comrade in arms. I mean, that speaks highly of both of them," said Sumter Co. Sheriff Pete Smith.

Moving forward, the officers' loved ones say it's important to remember what they represented and use that to better our world.

"All I ask, is that everybody just love one another, because that's what Jody represented. He went into a room and he just lit it up with his pretty blue eyes and that smile of his," said Johnson.

This tough time won't end any time soon for the families -- especially with the holidays around the corner.

"Won't be a lot of great Christmas for them, as you can imagine. It's going to be very tragic. It's hard to be excited about Christmas when you just lost your only son," said Sheriff Smith.

"I can't help but think that law enforcement isn't going to suffer in the future for the loss of both of them," said Mike Tracy, GSW Campus Patrol Director.

The officers worked with saying their profession may never be the same.

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