Bio & Incident Details
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Incident Date: 3/29/1970
Suspect: Shot and killed
Assistant Director Donald Smith and Correctional Officer Richard Rogers were shot and killed inside of the Parker Elementary School in Sumner, Georgia, while attempting to apprehend an escapee from the George State Prison in Reidsville.
The prison trusty had escaped four days earlier while working inside of the assistant warden's home. He was able to gain control of a handgun inside of the home and then took the assistant warden's wife hostage before stealing several more firearms. He forced the hostage to drive him over 100 miles before letting her go. She immediately alerted local authorities who immediately started a massive search for the man.
Officers from the Georgia State Prison were also sent to Sumner to lead the search. Assistant Director Smith and Officer Rogers were part of a group of four officers who located fresh tracks near the elementary school and found it unlocked. As they began to search the school the escapee suddenly emerged from the principal's office and opened fire with a shotgun, killing Assistant Director Smith and Officer Rogers. One of the other two officers was wounded as they retreated and called for assistance.
The inmate then barricaded himself inside of the school's auditorium. He was shot and killed when he opened fire on approaching officers.
Assistant Director Smith was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served at the Georgia State Prison for nine years. He was survived by his wife and young son.
Related Line of Duty Deaths
Correctional Officer Richard H. Rogers