HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - A seven-year veteran of the Henry County police force is undergoing surgery after investigators said a man, identified as 53-year-old Dimaggio McNelly, shot the officer in the face – with the officer's own gun.
The officer involved has been identified as Officer Michael Smith. He's been with the force since 2011.
The incident happened shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday inside the lobby area of the Smile Creators dental office located on Jonesboro Road in McDonough, Georgia.
Police said they were called out to the dentist's office for a disruption call after McNelly came in acting erratically.
“Something was unusual about this gentleman that frightened them enough that they called police,” Capt. Joey Smith, with the Henry County Police Department, told Channel 2’s Steve Gehlbach .
The officer arrived, and the two got into a fight, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The officer tried to shock the suspect with a Taser more than once before one shot was fired, hitting both Officer Smith and McNelly.
“There was some type of struggle that involved the officer’s weapon,” Joey Smith said.
The suspect was killed and the officer was shot in the face area. GBI officials said Officer Smith was somehow struck with the same bullet that killed McNelly.
The injured officer was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital for surgery. At last check, Smith was in critical condition.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in to help with the investigation.
Officers are currently interviewing employees and other witnesses to the event.
“They were upset about some kind of type of incident. I don’t know if it’s work-related, if he’s a customer, a family? Don’t have that information as of yet,” Capt. Joey Smith said.
Gehlbach said the suspect’s red van was still parked outside the office as officers continued their investigation.
Channel 2's Craig Lucie learned Henry County Animal Control was called in to get a dog out of the suspect's car.
Shortly after noon, police started to let some of the witnesses leave the scene.
Breaking: update from HCPD on scene: suspect killed was disruptive customer inside dentist office. Employees called police. Shots exchanged and officer shot and suspect killed pic.twitter.com/lWaagmSkIg— Steve Gehlbach (@SteveGWSB) December 6, 2018
BREAKING: video from scene where officer shot in Henry County pic.twitter.com/ftpN8kMcKu— Steve Gehlbach (@SteveGWSB) December 6, 2018
Emergency Release: An incident has just occurred on Jonesboro Road near Kroger/Wesley Lakes. Avoid the area. Additional information to follow. The scene has been secured - there is no elevated risk to the public’s safety at this time.— Henry County Police (@HenryCoPolice) December 6, 2018