Many people decide to become law enforcement officers (LEOs) because they want to help people and make a difference. Some get to spend time going to schools and helping children learn how to make better choices, thus helping to prevent crime before it happens.
Some do other things to interact with the community, reach out to youth and to generally be of service. Stories abound and videos, too, of all the fun and touching things LEOs do to help and serve others.
But with the service to others come tasks that present inherent dangers to the police. Every time they do a traffic stop, answer a domestic violence call or even serve a warrant the risk to their life, and the lives of innocent bystanders, is all too real.
Chase Maddox, 26, served in the National Guard before joining the Locust Grove, Georgia, police department. He was a valued member of the police force for five years, always going out of his way to interact with the community.
One store owner relayed how Maddox checked on him every day, even though he didn’t have to, just to make sure he was okay. But his job involved more than looking after the community’s well-being, and one day such a task changed everything forever.
When Henry County Deputies ran into trouble serving a bench warrant for failure to appear in court to 39-year-old Tierre Guthrie, Officer Maddox was called in for assistance.
They called the situation correctly in preparing for trouble, but in the process of doing their job, deputies were shot and sustainined injuries. Guthrie was shot four times and was killed in the exchange.
Young Officer Maddox, who had been there as backup, was shot three times and died in the ambulance transporting him to the hospital. The coroner’s report determined that it was the shot to his head that ended his young life.
Maddox left behind a child with special needs and a pregnant wife who was due to deliver their second child within days of his death. An updated report from WSB-TV announced that Maddox’s wife, Alex, gave birth to a health baby boy.
The infant has been named Bodie Allen Maddox in honor of his grandfather. Both mother and child have been reported to be in good health, despite the tragic and stressful circumstances. Alex is planning to attend her husband’s memorial service.
The community has rallied behind the young family, with a tear-evoking procession of police cars and other official vehicles following the hearse that carried Maddox’s body to the funeral home.
The roads became motionless except for the procession as officers and motorists alike all stopped to pay tribute to the fallen officer.
A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help the family and within days was marked as “complete” and “no longer active,” having raised $103,499.
Other endeavors include a Facebook page specifically set up for support for the family which had posts about things such as a charity shoot and a candlelight vigil.
WSB-TV noted that there is even more coming from friends, family and community members in support for the Maddox family. As one example, other family members set up a donation account with United Community Bank to help the young family.
Additionally, the police department is handing food donations to the Maddox family. The local public safety building is where those interested in making such a donation may drop off newborn and infant clothing for Bodie.
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