DeKalb police sergeant struck, killed at Downtown Connector crash site

Sgt. Daniel Mobley

Credit: DeKalb County Police Department

Credit: DeKalb County Police Department

Sgt. Daniel Mobley

A well-respected, veteran DeKalb County police sergeant was killed Saturday when he was struck by a vehicle on the Downtown Connector.

Sgt. Daniel Mobley, a 22-year veteran of the department, was hit by a car about 9 a.m. while responding to a crash involving another DeKalb officer near the Williams Street exit. He was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital, but pronounced dead on arrival, DeKalb police said. Mobley was 44.

“Today is a sad day as the DeKalb County Police Department lost one of its guardian angels,” police Chief Mirtha Ramos told reporters outside police headquarters Saturday afternoon. “We will miss him dearly and our hearts go out to his family.”

She said Mobley had just arrived to conduct a “supervisory investigation” of the crash involving the other officer when he was struck while getting out of his patrol car. The crash remained under investigation late Saturday. The officer involved in the initial crash was not injured, but shaken up by what happened to Mobley, according to police.

News of his death spread quickly through metro Atlanta, with many law enforcement agencies offering condolences on social media.

“The entire Department of Public Safety sends their heartfelt prayers and sympathy to the family and colleagues of Sergeant Mobley,” the state agency posted.

Gov. Brian Kemp also shared his sympathies: “Heartbreaking news. Please join our family in praying for the friends and loved ones of Sergeant Mobley. May the Lord be a comfort to them and his fellow officers in this difficult time.”

The department described Mobley as an exemplary law enforcement officer and a devoted father to his son. Colleagues said Mobley was a big Ford fan who could be found working under the hood of his cars in his free time.

He joined the department in June 1998 and was regularly utilized as the officer-in-charge because of his work ethic, a police spokeswoman said. In December 2017, Mobley was promoted to the rank of sergeant and assigned to the agency’s North-Central Precinct, where he regularly received letters of commendation.

Mobley was the 32nd DeKalb County police officer killed in the line of duty and the second officer killed in the U.S. in the new year. Early Friday, a Myrtle Beach police sergeant was killed in a vehicle crash while responding to a call. In 2020, Georgia lost seven officers in the line of duty, according to the Officers Down Memorial Page.

On Sept. 29, Fulton County sheriff’s Deputies Kenny Ingram and Anthony White were killed in a crash on I-20 in east Georgia. The deputies were on their way to pick up an inmate from the Augusta area when their Dodge Charger hit the back of a tractor-trailer that was stopped for traffic on I-20, the Georgia State Patrol said.

It’s been just over two years since another DeKalb officer was killed while on the job. On Dec. 13, 2018, Officer Edgar Isidro Flores was shot to death during a traffic stop on Candler Road. He was 24.

The man who shot Flores, Brandon Taylor, also fired a shot at a police dog, Indi, causing the K-9 to lose his right eye. SWAT officers returned fire, killing Taylor.

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the wreck that killed Mobley, which shut down the southbound lanes of the Downtown Connector for about four hours. The initial crash involved three vehicles, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The heavy police presence caused major delays through Midtown for much of the day as traffic was diverted off the interstate. All lanes reopened about 1 p.m., according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

Mobley is among at least nine people killed on Georgia roads since New Year’s Eve at 6 p.m., according to the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

Ramos described Mobley as a well-respected supervisor who was adored by his colleagues. She said other officers who were off on Saturday rushed to the hospital after hearing the news to show support for their fallen colleague and his family.

“The law enforcement community as a whole is hurting,” she said. “When you have officers flying into the hospital — not even in uniform because it’s their day off — to show their respects, that means he earned that respect.”

Ramos encouraged drivers to slow down and move over when approaching vehicles stopped alongside the road.

“Not just (for) law enforcement, but even when you see someone changing a tire,” Ramos said. “We lose people daily on our highways and we just need to pay closer attention.”

In a statement released Saturday evening, DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond called Mobley’s death a tragic reminder that frontline public safety employees place themselves at risk each time they go to work.

“On behalf of the residents and employees of DeKalb County and the Board of Commissioners, I express our deepest sympathy and offer our prayers to the family and friends of police Sgt. Daniel Mobley who gave his life in the line of duty this morning,” Thurmond said.

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