A stabbing in a Georgia jail early Tuesday left a sheriff’s deputy dead and another injured, authorities said.
Deputy Christopher Knight, 30, was working with other officers to escort a handcuffed inmate on suicide watch to an observation cell at the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center in Macon when a fight broke out, the police said. Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect, identified as Albert Dewitt Booze, 22, managed, while still handcuffed, to remove a knife from Knight during the altercation and used it to stab him twice, the sheriff’s office said. The officer was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead around 3:46 a.m.
Knight suffered a knife wound to the neck, according to The Associated Press.
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Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said Knight had just celebrated his birthday on Sunday, Atlanta’s FOX 5 reported. He has worked at the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office since 2018 and leaves behind his ex-wife and 2-year-old daughter.
The officer who was injured, Jerome Michael Williams, 32, received medical treatment and was later released from the hospital, the sheriff’s office said. Williams has worked in the sheriff’s office since November 2020.
“These agents come to work every day knowing that they have a duty to perform and that there are inherited dangers in what they do. And our hearts go out to them and we are very proud of their service,” Davis told Macon’s WGXA-TV.
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Booze had been in jail since last November on charges of criminal property damage, breaking and entering and giving law enforcement false names, Davis said. He was recently transferred from one cell block to another for causing disciplinary trouble and was placed on suicide watch after “making comments that he wanted to harm himself,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Davis added that Booze was handcuffed during the incident, the station reported.
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The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office of Professional Standards will conduct an internal investigation to “determine whether the actions taken in this incident were in accordance with the sheriff’s office policy,” authorities said.
The sheriff’s office also requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to conduct a criminal investigation into Knight’s death.
Macon is about 80 miles southeast of Atlanta.