BIBB COUNTY, Ga. - A Georgia sheriff's deputy was killed in the line of duty early Thursday morning after a tragic car wreck.
Bibb County Sheriff's Investigator Anthony "TJ" Freeman was called to assist another investigator dealing with a suspicious vehicle.
Freeman was headed east on Columbus Road to help his fellow deputy when the driver they were after, 24-year-old Montavious Kinder, went southbound out of Buena Vista Drive and stuck Investigator Freeman's car on the driver's side around 3 a.m.
The Bibb County Sheriff's Office said Freeman's vehicle went off the road and ended up in the front yard of a home on Columbus Road. He was rushed to Navicent Health Hospital where he was later passed away.
The 29-year-old deputy leaves behind his wife, Jessica, and their two children, 11-year-old Braden and 5-year-old Blaiklyn.
Investigator Freeman has served with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office for seven years after joining the Macon Police Department in 2009. He was assigned as a narcotics investigator for the last five years and was also a SWAT officer and K9 handler.
Freeman's K9 partner "Bojar" was with him when the crash happened. The dog was taken to a local vet and appears to be fine.
Following the devastating news, Sheriff David Davis ordered all flags to fly at halfmast at the Bibb County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Davis released the following statement Thursday morning:
“TJ was a great investigator, a great deputy and a great friend to many on the department. He died doing what TJ always did – trying to help a fellow deputy. Our hearts are heavy today as we lost one of our own, but we grieve especially for Jessica, Braden and Blaiklyn. TJ was a very involved father and we know this will be very, very hard for his young family.”
Authorities said the suspect suffered minor injuries and was taken into custody. He's been charged with pre-existing warrants and other charges are pending, according to investigators.
Sheriff Davis has asked Georgia State Patrol to investigate the crash.