Peach County Sheriff’s Office remembers fallen officers year after shooting

FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – On Monday it will be one year since the Peach County Sheriff’s Office lost two two deputies and family members.

On November 6, 2016 Sgt. Patrick Sondron and Deputy Daryl Smallwood responded to call in Byron. It would be their last.

“My phone rang, I started not to answer it, but I answered it real quick,” said Peach County Investigator Brian Stewart. “It was the 911 dispatcher and she was telling me there was an incident going on, we had two deputies down.”

The GBI says Ralph Elrod shot and killed both deputies.

“They’re the first two killed in the line of duty in the history of this county,” said Sheriff Terry Deese.

Sgt. Sondron had worked at the sheriff’s office for 18 years. Deputy Smallwood worked there for about a year, but Sheriff Deese says he made an impact.


“Daryl was one of those guys you liked the minute you saw him cause he loved to pull jokes and he was always smiling,” said Sheriff Deese.

“I was especially close with Patrick Sondron,” said Inv. Stewart. “We’d been friends for many years. The thought of him not being there and Daryl not being there, it was hard to comprehend that these guys wouldn’t be coming back.”

Almost a year later, their memory still lingers in the halls of the sheriff’s office and throughout the community.

“It’s very important that we remember them,” said Sheriff Deese. “One of the biggest things as Sheriff, you never want them to be forgotten.”

“We’ll never be the same,” said Inv. Stewart. “We’ll always remember these men and it’ll always be in the back of our minds, losing these two brothers.”

To honor the two, and thank the community for their support, the sheriff’s office is partnering with Lane Southern Orchards to host Law Enforcement and Community Day. It will be at Lane Southern Orchards on Saturday November 4th at 10 AM -4 PM. The event will have multiple attractions like, Georgia State Patrol Helicopter, North Carolina Highway Patrol Caisson Unit, Mobile Memorial Wall, Sheriff K-9 Demonstration, and Sgt. Patrick Sondron’s Award Winning Memorial Dodge Charger Daytona car will be on display. There will also be a silent auction and bouncy houses and hayrides for the kids. IDENT-a-kid will also be there to take photos of kids. The event is free.


Categories: Local News, Peach County

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