MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy was stabbed to death with his own knife by an inmate at a Georgia jail early Tuesday, authorities said. Another law officer was injured, but later released from a hospital.
Deputy Christopher Knight, 30, was stabbed in the neck and died shortly before dawn Tuesday after being taken to a hospital following the stabbing in Macon, Georgia, Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said.
The attack happened early Tuesday morning after the inmate, Albert Booze, made comments that he wished to harm himself, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Todd Crosby said. The deputies were attacked as they moved him to be placed on a suicide watch, Crosby said.
“These are sometimes dangerous people that we deal with, and they’re sometimes unpredictable and tragic things can happen,” Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said at a Tuesday news conference. “These deputies come to work every day knowing that they have a duty to perform and that there are dangers inherent in what they do and our hearts go out to them.”
Knight had just turned 30 on Sunday, and had been with the sheriff’s office since 2018, Davis said. He leaves behind a 2-year-old child, the sheriff said.
Booze, 22, of Macon, had been held in the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center since November on charges of criminal damage to property, criminal trespassing and giving a false name to law officers. He had just been moved to a new cell on Monday because of a “disciplinary issue,” Crosby said.
The GBI has opened a criminal investigation, and the sheriff’s department will investigate policy issues.
One part of the sheriff’s investigation will explore how the inmate obtained the knife. Davis said deputies can carry knives because they sometimes need to cut materials such as bedsheets to rescue inmates who attempt suicides.