A rookie Covington police officer is recovering and in good spirits after being shot in the head while responding to a domestic fight at a hotel late Tuesday night.
In a statement posted Wednesday afternoon, the Covington Police Department said Officer Rashad Rivers was alert and scheduled to undergo surgery on his jaw Thursday. The man accused of shooting Rivers, 23-year-old Treyvorius Stodghill of Covington, was killed by a second responding officer after he was seen standing over Rivers with his gun drawn, according to the GBI.
“We ask that you continue to keep Officer Rivers, his family, our city family and all public safety personnel who were involved in your prayers as the healing process begins,” the police department said.
Rivers responded around 10:30 p.m. to the My Home & Suites Hotel along Alcovy Road, just off I-20, about a fight between a man and a woman, GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles said. He encountered an armed Stodghill in a room, and gunfire was exchanged.
“A second responding officer arrived on the scene and saw Stodghill, who was pointing a gun at the officer who was down,” Miles said in a news release. “Stodghill was shot and killed by a Covington police officer during the incident.”
The GBI will conduct an autopsy.
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Police said they appreciated “the incredible outpouring of support and prayers” the department has received for Rivers, who is being treated at Grady Memorial Hospital. Rivers was sworn in as a police officer in January after undergoing training. He earned the leadership award for his police academy class, the department said.
“Each day, our men and women in uniform run towards danger to keep us safe,” Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement upon hearing the news. “Our hearts go out to the family of this brave officer and the entire Covington Police Department as we continue to pray for a full and speedy recovery.”
Investigators collected evidence through the night and into Wednesday morning. Once the GBI is done with its independent investigation, it will turn over its findings to the Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.
It marks the 40th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate this year, 12 fewer than there were by this time last year.
The Covington officer is the second in metro Atlanta to be shot in the line of duty in recent months. In January, a state trooper was wounded in a shooting during a protest at Atlanta’s planned public safety training center that also killed protester Manual Teran. The trooper, whose name was not released, survived after being shot in the abdomen.
No Georgia officers have been killed in the line of duty so far this year, according to the Officers Down Memorial Page that tracks law enforcement deaths, though one Cairo officer died as a result of a medical emergency while on duty. There were six line-of-duty killings last year and eight the year before.