How did serving a simple warrant turn deadly in Locust Grove?


Video shared to Facebook on Monday shows Fayetteville police escorting the body of 26-year-old Chase Maddox to a funeral home in Peachtree City.

Maddox was the Locust Grove police officer who was shot and killed while serving a warrant last Friday. That shooting is still under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

11Alive is now learning more about just how dangerous serving a warrant is for officers – and why. Law enforcement analyst Vincent Hill said he hated serving warrants when he was on the force because it was so dangerous. He said no one likes being hauled off to jail.

In this case, it was a warrant from traffic court – a nonviolent violation – so police didn’t have a lot of information on the suspect. Hill said that if it was a felony warrant, police would have been able to do a no-knock warrant where they enter the house without warning to arrest the suspect.

“You kick in the door, you give the element of surprise, the individual doesn’t have time to go for a weapon,” Hill said.

Those warrants are controversial though. Metro Atlanta has had two very high-profile cases of no-knock warrants going wrong. In 2006, Atlanta police issued a no-knock warrant at the wrong home. Police fired 39 shots into the home of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, killing her and injuring another. An officer then admitted to planting drugs at the scene.

In 2014, a 19-month-old boy nicknamed “Bou Bou” was maimed when Habersham County deputies threw a stun grenade during a no-knock warrant. It landed in the child’s playpen. In 2017, a federal judge awarded the family $3.6 million.

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