Hundreds gather for candlelight vigil in honor of fallen Monroe County deputy

FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The death of Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy Michael Norris is not only a tragic loss to law enforcement, but also the entire community. Hundreds came out to remember him during a candlelight vigil Wednesday night.

“He was well known and it touched me,” Gloria White said.

With every light, Norris is remembered.

“We’re all going to miss him in Culloden,” White said. White says Norris grew up in Culloden. She says she remembers his impact in the community.

“I know one time we had an incident at my house, he come down there, took care of it, asked questions, then he left. he was good at everything he did,” White said.

Hundreds gathered in front of the Monroe County Board of Education to remember a man who put others before himself, even on his last call.

“He didn’t go to this house to try to arrest somebody. he went to this house to try to help this guy from himself and wound up paying with his life for it,” Monroe County Sheriff John Cary Bittick said.

City, county, and state leaders spoke about his service to the community. They say his death was too tragic and too unnecessary.

Mourners showed their support for Norris’ family with every lit candle.

“It’s showing them that hundreds of people can come and gather today to show and pay respects to the loss of the family and that’s something that they will never ever forget,” mourner Zoey Starret said.

It’s that sense of community that Sheriff Bittick says will keep Norris’ memory alive.

“I don’t think without a question his legacy will live, continue on, both in the sheriff’s office and in the community,” Bittick said. “I don’t think Michael will ever be forgotten.”

Visitation for Norris is Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Georgia Public Training Center in Forsyth. His funeral is Friday afternoon at 2p.m. at the same location.

Because of Norris’ funeral, Monroe County schools will be closed early on Friday. Principals will make calls to parents with specific release times.

Deputies arrest 46-year-old Christopher Calmer. He’s charged with murder, attempted murder, two counts of possession of a firearm during a felony, and five counts of aggravated assault.

Deputy Jeff Wilson was also shot responding to Saturday’s suicide call. He was released from the hospital on Tuesday. Bittick told 41NBC he is able to get around with the help of a walker.

Categories: Local News, Monroe County

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