Georgia deputies shot and killed have been identified: ‘Men of character’

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The two Georgia sheriff’s officers who were shot dead this week while serving an arrest warrant were identified Friday.

Cobb County Sheriff’s Deputies, Marshall Ervin, Jr. and Jonathan Koleski were murdered Thursday at a home in the Marietta area while arresting a suspect wanted for theft, the sheriff’s office said.

After a standoff of nearly four hours with police, suspects Christopher Cook and Christopher Golden were taken into custody. Cook was charged with the alleged theft and Golden was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on an officer and murder.

Ervin Jr., 38, was a father of two who joined the sheriff’s office in 2012. And Koleski, 42, was a U.S. Army veteran who joined the sheriff’s office in 2007.

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Delegates Marshall Ervin, Jr.  (left) and Jonathan Koleski (right) were murdered Thursday at a home in the Marietta area while arresting a suspect wanted for theft.

Delegates Marshall Ervin, Jr. (left) and Jonathan Koleski (right) were murdered Thursday at a home in the Marietta area while arresting a suspect wanted for theft.
(Cobb County Sheriff’s Office)

“They were excellent men, men of character and integrity, family men, loved by their families and children,” Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens said at a news conference.

The sheriff’s office and the victims’ families mourn the dead.

“Our hearts are broken here in Cobb County,” the sheriff said. “It’s a night of heartache for two families, two women who have lost wonderful husbands.”

The officers were serving a search warrant around 7:45 p.m. Thursday when they were attacked in what Owens described as an ambush.

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(file photo) Ervin Jr., 38, was a father of two who joined the sheriff's office in 2012.  And Koleski, 42, is a U.S. Army veteran who joined the sheriff's office in 2007.

(file photo) Ervin Jr., 38, was a father of two who joined the sheriff’s office in 2012. And Koleski, 42, is a U.S. Army veteran who joined the sheriff’s office in 2007.
(Cobb County Sheriff’s Office)

Owens said the officers knocked on the door and rang the bell, but no one answered. As the officers returned to their patrol car, a vehicle pulled up and someone from the vehicle opened fire on them.

It is not clear whether both suspects were in the vehicle when the shooting began.

The sheriff said officers were able to alert the emergency room to the shooting.

A stalemate developed between the suspects and the police, and Cook and Golden were eventually taken into custody.

Owens said the officers knocked on the door and rang the bell, but no one answered.  As the officers returned to their patrol car, a vehicle pulled up and someone from the vehicle opened fire on them.

Owens said the officers knocked on the door and rang the bell, but no one answered. As the officers returned to their patrol car, a vehicle pulled up and someone from the vehicle opened fire on them.
(Cobb County Sheriff’s Office)

The Cobb Sheriff’s Foundation accepts donations to support the families of the fallen officers.

Law enforcement agencies across the state expressed their condolences to the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office.

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Owens said Republican government Brian Kemp personally called him to offer state resources.

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