UPDATE: Injured deputy released from hospital after Crawford County deputy-involved shooting

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Johnny Cleveland, the deputy who was shot Saturday, in Crawford County is out of the hospital and recovering at home.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Cleveland was hit during a shoot-out with 31 year old Rickey Eugene Smithey. Smithey is still in the hospital.

The other two officers involved in the shooting are Lt. Keith Edwards and Deputy Delane Hill. Neither of them were injured.

Crawford County Sheriff Lewis Walker tells 41NBC all the deputies are on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

“We feel good about what took place. Real pleased with the officers response and how they handled themselves out there, because in this situation it could have easily been a deadly situation but we’re just thankful that the officers responded the way they did,” said Sheriff Walker.

Sheriff Walker believes the GBI will file charges against Smithey once the investigation is complete.


The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating a deputy-involved shooting in Crawford County.

It happened around 8:30 Saturday night near the Racers Gas Station, which is located at the corner of Olive Grove Church Road and Highway 80. A GBI release says the sheriff’s office received a call just after 7:30 from the gas station clerk about 31-year-old Rickey Eugune Smithey Jr. causing a disturbance in the store.

Smithey was carrying a semi-automatic pistol in his pocket when a deputy arrived. When he didn’t follow the deputy’s commands to keep his hand off the gun, the deputy tried to use his taser on the suspect but the probes missed.

Smithey ran to his house next to the gas station. Two other deputies arrived, and Smithey fled from his home to a field behind the house. During requests by the deputies for him to surrender, Smithey fired multiple shots toward the deputies, with one hitting one of the deputies in the shoulder. All three deputies returned fire, striking the suspect twice. 

Smithey and the injured deputy were taken to the hospital for treatment.

When the GBI investigation is completed, the case will be turned over to the district attorney’s office.

Categories: Crawford County, Local News

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