A Henry County officer shot during a struggle with a man in a dentist’s office three weeks ago has died, police announced Friday morning.
Officer Michael Smith died at 4:30 a.m. at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital due to complications from a gunshot wound he sustained Dec. 6, according to Henry County police. He was 33 years old.
“Please keep the Smith family in your prayers,” a spokesman for the department said in a statement. “Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.”
Smith, a father to a 3-year-old boy and a seven-year veteran with the force, was shot in the face during a struggle with a man in a dentist’s office near McDonough. A single gunshot critically injured Smith and killed the man, 53-year-old DiMaggio McNelly.
He was treated at Grady Memorial Hospital before being transferred to the Shepherd Center for rehab.
As recently as Saturday, Henry police Chief Mark Amerman said Smith’s condition was improving and he was showing signs of progress.
“Yesterday, he took 10 steps, which is really encouraging,” Amerman said in a video posted to Facebook. “Your thoughts and prayers going out to him are very much appreciated; I want to let you know that it’s working.”
Amerman also announced that Smith’s wife, Erin, was recovering at Piedmont after a recent scare while visiting Smith at the Shepherd Center. She required emergency surgery after she fell and hit her head, and doctors found blood clots during an examination, he said.
A GoFundMe page to raise money for Smith and his family has passed its goal of $20,000.
Smith is the sixth Georgia officer killed in the line of duty in 2018. His death follows the Dec. 13 slaying of DeKalb police officer Edgar Isidro Flores, who was fatally shot during a traffic stop on Candler Road.
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