Monroe County remembers fallen Deputy Michael Norris one year later

FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Monroe County residents remember Michael Norris being eager to help others. Even though the sheriff’s deputy died a year ago, he’s still alive in the hearts of those who knew him.

Deputy Norris was declared brain dead September 14, 2014. He and Deputy Jeff Wilson were shot while responding to a suicide call on September 13, 2014. Wilson survived, but Norris’ family took Norris off life support a few days after the shooting. Those who knew Norris said he may be gone, but his memory will always be with them. 

A familiar color is starting to reappear in the streets of Monroe County.

“It is marking the one year anniversary of his death,” said Angie Ellis, the owner of Flowers by Helen. Flowers by Helen makes the blue bows people are displaying to honor Deputy Norris.

At other businesses, the ribbon hasn’t come down since September 13 of last year.

“We think about it every day,” explained Ellis.

For some, the pain of losing Norris still feels new.

“Devastating. Thinking nothing like this could happen in Monroe County,” said Ellis.

For others, it’s about remembering the good times. Lieutenant Michael Clay was part of Norris’ hiring process.

“Michael was very eager. He was excited. He wanted to be involved in everything,” explained Lt. Clay.

Lt. Clay remembered hearing the news of the shooting.

“It was shock at first. Obviously we’re a small community. Things like that just usually don’t happen here,” said Lt. Clay.

Students and staff at K.B. Sutton Elementary School wore blue clothing to school Monday as a way to remember Deputy Norris. He was their school resource officer. 

“On field day he helped us in our faculty tug-of-war and he was pulling the end of the line for us. So our team won, of course,” recalled Brani Pye, the Parent Involvement Specialist for Monroe County Schools.

The memory of Norris lives on with the ones he left behind, even as they continue to move forward.

“Everybody’s a lot more cautious than they were,” explained Ellis.

Including deputies at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

“We seem to respond with each other more. In the past where one deputy would respond to that call, now you have multiple deputies that are going just because their awareness is heightened,” said Lt. Clay.

Christopher Calmer, the man accused of shooting Deputies Norris and Wilson, was indicted on all nine counts he is facing, including felony murder and two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer. 

If you’re interested in purchasing a blue ribbon in honor of Deputy Norris, call Flowers by Helen on Johnston Street in Forsyth at (478) 994-2611. The bows range from $6.50 to $12.50.

Categories: Local News, Monroe County

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