Outpouring of support after Covington police officer shot in the head
COVINGTON, Ga. - The Covington Police Department has received an outpouring of support and prayers, especially from their community, after Officer Rashad Rivers was shot in the line of duty.
"Being a small town, you get to know the officers on a personal basis. Officers live here, they go to church here, their kids go to school here, so the community just embraces those serving them," said Ken Malcom, a former Covington police captain who now works for the city of Covington.
Officer Rivers was responding to a fight at a hotel on Alcovy Road near Interstate 20 late Tuesday night.
A woman who was staying in a nearby room says when police showed up, they knocked on the door, and announced who they were. The next think she knew, she heard gunfire.
"He said, ‘Put the gun down, put the gun down.’ When I heard that, I went in my room, and heard gunfire," she said.
Investigators say a man, identified as Treyvorious Stodghill, opened fire hitting Officer Rivers. Police say another officer returned fire hitting and killing Stodghill.
"A second officer arrived on scene shortly after that, and engaged with the suspect, subject sustained gunshot wounds and is deceased," said Lt. Daniel Digby.
Officer Rivers was sworn in as a police officer in January.
"He's a great police officer. He did well in the academy, he won a leadership award in the academy, and has a bright future ahead of him. We're just so blessed that he's going to be okay, and he's going to come back to work," said Malcom.
Malcom says when he first heard about the shooting, his thoughts turned to another officer, Officer Matt Cooper, who was shot in the head four years ago while chasing a shoplifting suspect.
"The situation was similar, both officers were shot in the head, the difference was where the bullet went into Officer Cooper was more dangerous and life-threatening. We almost lost Officer Cooper," said Malcom.
It was a long struggle for Officer Cooper. Malcom believes the recovery for Officer Rivers might be smoother.
"Officer Rivers has been up walking around, he's in good spirits, he's due to have surgery in the next 24 hours to repair damage to his jaw and then hopefully that will go well and he'll be out of the hospital in the next few days," said Malcom.