Covington police officer shot near Walmart; 1 person dead

A Covington police officer is fighting for his life after he was shot Monday while responding to a shoplifting call at a local Walmart.

The injured officer was identified as Matt Cooper, 34, a six-year veteran of the police force, according to the GBI. He is an Army veteran, married and a father of two young children.

Cooper was summoned to the Walmart in the 10000 block of Industrial Boulevard shortly before 12:30 p.m.

There, Cooper encountered Aaron Demonta Fleming, who was seen leaving the store with a bag in his hand, the GBI said. According to Channel 2 Action News, he was allegedly trying to steal bandannas from the store. Fleming, 21, ran across the street and behind another shopping center with Cooper in pursuit.


Several shots were fired. Cooper was hit in the head and flown to Atlanta Medical Center, where he was in serious condition Tuesday morning, Channel 2 reported.

Fleming sustained a fatal gunshot wound. The GBI said early information indicates his gunshot wound was self-inflicted.

"This is something we all pray every day will never happen but here we are," Covington police Capt. Ken Malcom said. "It is very heavy on all our hearts. Please pray for our officer."

Two other people are in custody in the case. Details about those people have not been released.

Covington is about 35 miles east of Atlanta and is the county seat of Newton County.