Georgia police officer dies weeks after he was shot in the face in the line of duty

Henry County officer Michael Smith was shot in the line of duty on Dec. 6.

December 28, 2018, 11:09 AM

A Georgia police officer died Friday morning, weeks after he was shot in the face in the line of duty, his department said.

Henry County Police officer Michael Smith, who was shot on Dec. 6, died Friday morning at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital due to complications from his injuries, the Henry County Police Department said.

"I want to thank the public for all their thoughts and prayers,” Henry County Police Chief Mark Amerman said. “Please continue to pray for Michael’s family during these difficult times.”

Police officer Michael Smith was shot while responding to a call, Dec. 6, 2018, in Georgia.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation

Smith was injured after responding to a disturbance at a dentist's office on Dec. 6.

Smith arrived and spoke with the suspect, Dimaggio McNelly, but "at some point the subject became combative," Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Natalie Ammons told reporters that day.

Smith deployed his Taser multiple times, but it wasn't effective, she said.

Officials on the scene outside Atlanta, where an officer was shot, Dec. 6, 2018.

A struggle broke out when McNelly lunged at the officer, Ammons said, and one shot was fired.

With that one shot, both Smith and McNelly were struck, Ammons said.

It was not clear whose finger was on the trigger, Ammons said at the time. That remains under investigation, Nelly Miles of the GBI said Friday.

McNelly was killed, Ammons said, while Smith was shot in the face and hospitalized.

Smith had been with the department for seven years.