Three wounded officers and the men who rescued them honored by governor

For the first time since they were shot, three wounded police officers reunited along with the men they credit for saving their lives during a pre-dawn shootout in Carroll County. All were honored as part of the Governor's Public Safety Awards.

A high-speed chase, a high-powered rifle, and an unknown danger in the darkness.


When law enforcement officers from multiple Georgia police agencies tried to stop a speeding car out of Alabama last April, there was no guarantee it would end well for any of them.

But it did. This month, it even ended with commendations from the governor.

"This means a lot to be here with my family and be here with somebody who saved me and be here with my teammates," said Sergeant Rob Holloway of the Carrollton police department.

Holloway was one of seven awarded the Public Safety Act of Heroism Award by Governor Brian Kemp.

He was the most seriously injured of the three officers shot while trying to stop a speeding car before dawn April 12, the passenger firing an AK-47 as they reached speeds of over 100 MPH.

Sgt. Rob Holloway is slowly recovering from a round that hit the right side of his head.

When the firing started, Holloway pulled his car in front of the one being driven by Carrollton Corporal Wesley Cheatwood.

The bullet would pierce the windshield and shatter, part of it hitting Holloway’s chest, the other the right side of his head. He would lose consciousness and crash into a utility pole.


Holloway was the most seriously injured in the shootout. (Carrollton PD bodycam)

Bodycam video shows Cheatwood frantically trying to rescue his sergeant.

"City officer unresponsive!" Cheatwood yells into his radio. And then once he safely gets Holloway on his way to the hospital, he calls his chief on a borrowed cell phone.

"I see the passenger set up an (AK-47) and starts shooting rounds at me. Rob cuts me off. Damn it. He cut me off man to take the rounds."

But Holloway sees it far differently.

"He helped save my life that night," he said while standing next to Cheatwood after both were honored. He called Cheatwood his best friend.

But that was only the first story of bravery.

Villa Rica police officer Chase Gordy couldn't see the gunman in the dark. He would be hit three times and take cover in a nearby ditch. A recent hire, he had only been cleared four months earlier to patrol by himself.

Once the suspects’ car crashed, and they ran into the woods, Villa Rica police office Chase Gordy pulled down a dark road to search and guard a residence nearby.

He never saw the gunman.

"It happened so quick," Gordy told the FOX 5 I-Team. "Pretty sure that’s every answer that it happens so fast. I felt like I got hit in my head. I told myself you got hit."

Shot three times, Gordy rolled into a ditch and tried to take cover. 

Carroll County Sheriff's Deputy Jay Repetto took a round to his shoulder, falling to the ground before firing back at the gunman. 

Jamison Troutt and Jay Repetto from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office raced into the unknown in hopes of rescuing Gordy, only to come face to face with the gunman himself.

"All of a sudden this guy just pops up," said Repetto. "I thought he jumped out of the woods. Turns out he was standing with his back to us. Wearing all black. As he’s coming at me, he’s looking right at me. I fell back and drew my pistol and shot him."

The dash cam recorded the entire encounter.

This is dashcam video of Pier Shelton who surprised Repetto and deputy Jamison Troutt as they searched for a wounded Chase Gordy. Both deputies fired back, killing Shelton. (Carroll County Sheriff dashcam)

Carroll County Sheriff's Deputy Jamison Troutt could not attend the awards ceremony. He was hit with shards of glass from the windshield when the gunman surprised them and opened fire with an AK-47. (Photo by Carroll County Sheriff's Office)

With a second suspect still out there somewhere, Villa Rica Sergeant Drew Fowler and officer Kane Hemingway hurried to find their wounded colleague Gordy, still in that ditch.

"We didn’t know where the second guy was at that time," explained Hemingway.

They eventually found him, loading Gordy into a patrol car and providing a walking armed escort back to the main road.

"Probably didn’t take too long to get him, but it felt like was 17 miles and 17 minutes to get to him." said Fowler.

Gordy suffered gunshots to his leg, shoulder and a broken rib where his vest blocked a third bullet.

Repetto was also hit in the shoulder.

And Holloway has a metal plate to protect his head where a bullet fragment entered and nearly ended his life.

"Luckily all three guys here that took rounds are with us," said Cheatwood, the man Holloway credits for getting him vital medical attention in time. "And they’re able to talk about it. Doing what they can to get back to work. And I think that’s impressive, and I think it sends a message for a lot of the younger guys in this field that you have to have a calling of sorts they say to do this and keep moving. And to go through something like that and come back to work, that’s impressive."

That shooting suspect — Pier Shelton, 28 — died at the scene. His cousin Aaron Shelton is in jail facing multiple charges of aggravated assault.

Both were from Birmingham.

Here are the other honorees for this year’s Public Safety Awards:

M. Keith Glass

Chief Monroe Police Department - Retired

Outstanding Contribution to Profession 

M. Keith Glass is an accomplished leader with over 30 years experience in law enforcement, military and political environments. 

Keith started his law enforcement career at the Monroe Police Department in December 1993. He worked as a patrol officer, housing projects officer, and a shift corporal. In 2002, he sought and accepted the challenge of Chief, a job that had seen five Chiefs come and go in a nine-year period prior to his appointment. He took an organization that was in disarray with less than 40% of its authorized positions filled and developed it into a state certified agency that maintained 90% to 100% authorized strength levels during his tenure.

In 2016 and 2017, the Monroe Police Department worked with the FBI in an 18-month long "Safe Streets" investigation that resulted in over 60 Federal indictments and arrests. The investigation was the largest law enforcement operation in Walton County history.

During his time as the Chief of Police, Keith supported a number of local organizations by serving on boards, donating time and resources. These organizations include; The Alcove Youth Shelter, Walton County Boys & Girls Club, Youth Leadership Walton, Leadership Walton, Monroe Downtown Development Authority, Walton County Schools, A Childs Voice Advocacy Center, 

Walton County Chamber of Commerce and the Walton County Domestic Violence Shelter. 

Keith has also supported a number of National Organizations, with his time, personal funds and department resources. Some of these organizations are Relay for Life, United Way and M.A.D.D. In 2005 Keith Glass started an annual fishing tournament with all proceeds to go to a national charity. From 2005 to 2007 almost $10,000.00 was raised for the March of Dimes. In 2010 over $4,000.00 dollars was raised for The Wounded Warrior Project. In 2011 the tournament changed pace and raised money for a fellow Monroe Police Officer whose new-born daughter required a liver transplant in Pittsburg, PA at the children’s hospital.

Keith had a 25-year career with the City of Monroe including 16-years 7-months as the Chief of Police which is the longest in Monroe history by more than a decade as well as being Monroe’s first and only Public Safety Director.

His leadership and performance at Monroe PD afforded him the opportunity to lead both the Peace Officers Association of Georgia and the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police as their President.  To our knowledge, he is the only Chief of Police to be President of both associations. He was awarded a lifetime membership in the Peace Officers Association for his service.

His leadership traits and performance earned him an appointment to the Peace Officers Standards and Training Council by Governor Deal. He served on POST Council until 2015 when Governor Deal appointed him to the Peace Officers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund Board.  He was re-appointed by Governor Brian Kemp in 2019 to the Board and currently serves as the Chairman. The POAB Board has the fiduciary responsible for the retirement fund which has grown under his guidance and leadership to nearly 14,000 active members, over 7,000 drawing retirement benefits and a current fund value near $1B.  He was also instrumental in the passage of legislation which made jailers eligible to join the fund and provided for a retirement increase for members.

Additionally, he served our state and country in the Georgia National Guard.  His military career spanned from 1974 to 2005.   As a Guardsman he deployed to multiple stateside emergency situations ranging from civil unrest to floods.  As the 1-121st Infantry Command Sergeant Major, he deployed with the 48th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division to Bosnia where he served as the Eagle Base Command Sergeant Major for SFOR 9.  His military awards include the Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service medals.

He participated in the International Law Enforcement Exchange Program between Georgia State University and Israel, the U.S. Department of Justice’s FBI Georgia Law Enforcement Executive Development Course, and the 2015 U.S. State Department Law Enforcement Exchange Program with the Republic of Georgia.

Craig M. Rotter

Georgia Bureau of Investigation - Retired

Outstanding Contribution to Profession 

Craig retired from the GBI in July 2019, after 25 years of service.  During the last seven years of his tenure, Craig served as the Director of Training for the GBI, where he oversaw all training for the GBI as well as providing training to other state and local agencies.  He also instructed bomb awareness classes to law enforcement and fire personnel.  Craig provided ALERRT and Civilian Response to Active Shooter training to churches and businesses throughout Georgia in addition to his other duties.

Craig began his service to the people of the State of Georgia in 1986 as a certified Cardiac Technician and worked for the Mid-Georgia Ambulance Service and the Medical Center EMS in Macon, GA.  While there, he became a SWAT medic for the Macon Police Department.  In 1991, he joined the Macon Police Department as a patrol officer and was also a member of the Macon Police SWAT Team.  In 1994, Craig was hired by the GBI and assigned to the Region 13, Perry Field Office to work general investigations. He was later assigned to the GBI Special Operations Unit (SOU), which consisted of the Bomb Disposal Un it, Anti-Terrorist Team, and the Technical Services Team.  While there, Craig was promoted to Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC).  He served as ASAC of SOU and later as ASAC of the Perry Field Office.  In 20 1 1, Craig was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of the Region 5, Statesboro Field Office, where he served until transferring to the GBI Training Unit.

Craig has been actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America since he was a child.  He earned Eagle Scout in 1984.  As an adult, he has remained active in the Boy Scouts as a leader and advisor.   From 1995-1999, Craig was the Macon Police Department Explorer Post Associate Advisor. In 1999, Craig was responsible for creating the GB! Explorer Post sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.   Craig served as the GBI Explorer Post Advisor until 2005.   He was also a Georgia Law Enforcement Explorer Association Committee Member from 2001 until 2005.  In 20 17, Craig was honored with the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America. Craig is currently the Boy Scouts of America Associate Section Advisor for Georgia and part of Alabama. He has served in that position since 201 8.

Craig holds a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a master's degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University.  In 20 12, Craig graduated from the FBI National Academy Session 250.  Craig is devoted to his family and the community.  

Craig Rotter was an asset to the GBI and the law enforcement profession in general.  He earned numerous certifications and awards throughout his career and has always served the people of the State of Georgia with honesty and integrity.

Almedin Ajanovic 

Lilburn Police Department

Act of Heroism 

While leaving an off duty job, Sgt. Ajanovic responded to a massive train derailment. Despite a large explosion and fire, and without regard for his own safety, Ajanovic ran down the tracks, located the two trapped train engineers, and escorted them to safety. The willingness to risk his own life for that of strangers is in keeping with the highest traditions of public safety.

Brandon Jewell

Georgia Department of Corrections

Act of Heroism

Canine Handler Jewell was contacted by the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office for assistance with a subject fleeing from deputies in a stolen vehicle. While in route to the scene, Officer Jewell observed the vehicle traveling in his direction with several Lanier County SO vehicles in pursuit. Officer Jewell immediately turned his vehicle around and followed the pursuit at a safe distance. The vehicle pulled into a residence and the driver exited running towards the wood line. Officer Jewell pulled his K9 vehicle in front of the suspect, exited his vehicle, and began ordering the subject to stop. The subject at this time pulled two pistols placing them to his own head as he leaped backwards over a barbed wire fence and began firing both pistols directly at Officer Jewell. Officer Jewell immediately took cover while rounds were hitting his vehicle. While trying to gain a vantage point from behind the vehicle, Officer Jewell noticed two deputies cross in front of his line of sight as he was moving to the rear of his vehicle. He heard the female deputy say she had been shot. While under fire from the suspect, Officer Jewell pushed forward to the deputy and pulled her to safety at the rear of his truck and began checking her for any wounds. As Jewell began moving to the driver’s door of his truck to engage the suspect, he heard "cease fire". Jewell at this time assisted the Investigator in handcuffing the suspect and began rendering first aid until EMS arrived on scene.

Clayton Wright

Gwinnett County Fire & EMS

Act of Heroism

On March 2, 2021, at approximately 0050 hrs., Gwinnett Engine 19 and others were dispatched to a residential fire with entrapment. Dispatch advised that an elderly, bedridden occupant was trapped in the home. Arriving crews found heavy flames and smoke from the roof and second story windows. Clayton Wright assumed command and received confirmation from bystanders that an invalid occupant was still upstairs. While hose lines were being pulled, Captain Wright and his firefighter quickly rushed upstairs to attempt the rescue. Extreme heat and fire conditions halted their effort, and they were pushed back downstairs. At that point, Captain Wright advised two firefighters to use an attack line to knock back the heat and flames so he could make a solo rescue attempt back upstairs. As he hurried up the stairs and down the hall towards the occupant’s bedroom, heavy flames were above him as the fire had burned through the roof. With a thermal imager in hand, he was able to locate the victim when he saw her arms moving in her bed. Captain Wright was able to quickly wrap the victim in one of the blankets from her bed and placed her over his shoulder. He carried her down the stairs and outside to deliver the patient to the waiting Med 19 crew. Once in the front yard, Captain Wright opened the victim’s airway where she took a breath.
The patient received swift and pertinent care en route to the emergency department. The quick actions and decisions of Captain Clayton Wright that morning, along with immediate advanced care, provided the victim with the best chance of survival.

Andrew Leyden

Georgia Department of Corrections

Act of Heroism 

On Sunday, December 27, 2020, Canine Officers Leyden and Mines responded to Washington State Prison in reference to two subjects attempting to introduce contraband into the facility. Upon their arrival, they deployed a tracking canine where the two subjects were last seen. After tracking approximately one quarter mile, the officers approached a hay barn on the property. Canine Officer Leyden climbed up the hay bales and made contact with a male subject. Canine Officer Leyden attempted to take the subject into custody, but the subject drew a firearm and fired striking Officer Leyden in the hand and in the upper chest area. Canine Officer Leyden returned fire at the suspect striking him multiple times. The subject was able to flee the scene but was later found deceased on the facility property. Officer Leyden had surgery on his hand but has returned to his regular duties. 

Hank Bagwell, KP Boatright and Tony Cox

Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and GA DNR Law Enforcement Division

Act of Heroism 

Water Rescue of Water Fowl Hunter

On Christmas Eve 2020 there was a cold front that roared through, bringing high winds and a freezing rain. At approximately 9:40 AM, Captain Rick Sellars received a call who stated that the Seminole County 911 center had received an Emergency Locator Signal that had been broadcast from somewhere near the middle of Lake Seminole. Sergeant Cox met Game Warden Boatright and Major Bagwell at the Seminole State Park boat ramp. After entering the main channel of the lake, these officers were confronted by 25-30 MPH winds, which created 3-5 foot waves on the main body of the lake. This caused sprays of 49-degree lake water to coat the patrol vessel. Upon reaching the "X" of the Coordinates they encountered a waterfowl hunter, in eight feet of water, hugging the bow of his submerged vessel. The hunter, who was not wearing a PFD, could barely move or talk due to hypothermia, when the officers arrived on scene. Once the hunter was secured in the patrol vessel, the officers radioed for an ambulance to meet them at the nearest boat landing. On the way to the landing, Game Warden Boatright removed the hunter’s waterlogged chest waders, shirt, and jacket, giving him his rain jacket and an emergency blanket to wear. During this time, the hunter shook uncontrollably and mumbled to Game Warden Boatright, "Thank you for saving my life." While trying to untangle the lines, waves began coming over his 18-foot boat, causing it to swamp and sink. I have no doubt that his emergency locator equipment, along with the quick, precise, and fearless actions of these officers saved his life that day.