A stabbing at a Georgia jail early Tuesday left one sheriff’s deputy dead and another wounded, authorities said.
Deputy Christopher Knight, 30, was working with other deputies 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 Bibb County Sheriff’s Office said.
The suspect, identified as Albert Dewitt Booze, 22, managed while still handcuffed to take a knife away from Knight during the altercation and used it to stab him twice, the sheriff’s office said. The deputy was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead around 3:46 a.m.
Knight suffered a knife wound to his neck, according to The Associated Press.
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Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said Knight had just celebrated his birthday on Sunday, FOX 5 of Atlanta reported. He had been employed with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office since 2018 and leaves behind his ex-wife and 2-year-old daughter.
The deputy who was wounded, Jerome Michael Williams, 32, received medical treatment and was later released from the hospital, the sheriff’s office said. Williams has been employed with the sheriff’s office since November 2020.
“These deputies come to work every day knowing they have a duty to perform and that there are dangers inherited 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 the jail since last November on charges of criminal damage to property, criminal trespass and giving false names to law enforcement, Davis said. He was recently moved from one cell block to another for causing disciplinary issues and was placed on suicide watch after “making comments that he wished 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 if the actions taken in this incident were in accordance with sheriff’s office policy,” authorities said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was also requested by the sheriff’s office to conduct a criminal investigation into Knight’s death.
Macon is about 80 miles southeast of Atlanta.