Thursday, January 23, 2020

GSW Officer Jody Smith to be laid to rest Wednesday

  • Georgia Southwestern State University officer Jody Smith and Nick Smarr of the Americus Police Department responded to a 911 call on Dec 8.
  • The two officers were fatally shot by a man who had outstanding warrants out for charges relating to kidnapping.
  • Smith & Smarr were longtime childhood friends who were both engaged and set to get married in 2017.

Americus, Ga. – The funeral service for fallen Georgia Southwestern State University officer Jody Smith has been scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Smith’s body was returned home to Americus Monday morning in preparation for his funeral service at 11 a.m. on Wednesday in the Student Success Center Storm Dome.

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The college urged all faculty members, staff and students to gather at the corner of Glessner Street and Georgia Southwestern State University Drive to pay their respects as Smith’s body was carried through campus to Greg Hancock Funeral Chapel.

Governor Nathan Deal said he would issue an executive order to lower the flags at the state capitol to half-staff once Smith’s funeral arrangements were announced.

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Smith’s friend, Americus Police Officer Nicholas Smarr, was laid to rest Sunday.

He had only worked for the campus police for three months when tragedy struck last week, taking his life.

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Additionally, it has been confirmed that Smith was an organ donor. His father posted on Facebook saying he had the opportunity to save as many as seven people’s lives through organ donation.

The 911 Call

The suspect in the shooting, 32-year-old Minquell Kennedy Lembrick, killed himself Thursday after barricading himself inside a home, officials said.

“We have just received word that GSW Public Safety Officer Jody Smith has succumbed to his injuries and has passed away,” the interim president, Charles Patterson, said in a statement. “We offer our deepest condolences to his family during this very difficult time. Officer Smith was a bright, young and energetic officer, and he will be sorely missed.”

Scott said Wednesday that Lembrick had an outstanding arrest warrant charging him with kidnapping and other counts when the two officers encountered him at an apartment complex where a domestic dispute had been reported. But officers didn’t know whom they were dealing with when they responded to the 911 call.

Fellow officers who knew them weren’t surprised that Smith, who worked on the college campus near the shooting scene, went to assist Smarr. The two men had been lifelong friends.

Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith told reporters both officers were engaged to be married in the coming months.

About Jody Smith

Childhood buddies, Smarr, 25, and Smith, 26, graduated from Americus-Sumter High School in 2009 and went on to the police academy together.

The Americus community has set up a YouCaring site to support the families of fallen officer Nicholas Smarr and officer Jody Smith, who remains in critical condition.

Smith comes from a long line of law enforcement. His father was sheriff in Telfair County and his mother works in the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, where Smith worked as a deputy prior to joining the Georgia Southwestern State University Police Department; his current job.

He also served as a part-time officer with the Plains Police Department. He graduated from the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Tifton, Ga., in 2012.

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