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Hero Down: Cobb County Deputy Jonathan Koleski And Deputy Marshall Ervin Murdered

Marietta, GA – Cobb County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Deputy Jonathan Koleski and Deputy Marshall Ervin were murdered in the line of duty while attempting to serve a felony arrest warrant on Sept. 8.

The incident began shortly after 7:45 p.m., when Deputy Koleski and Deputy Ervin responded to a residence at the corner of Fenwick Drive and Hampton Glen Court, WAGA reported.

“From my understanding, the deputies had made an attempt at the home, knocked on the door, rang the doorbell, (and) no one came to the house,” Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens told reporters at the time.

Sheriff Owens said the deputies were getting back into their patrol unit when a vehicle drove up to the house.

According to Cobb County Police Department (CCPD) Chief Stuart VanHoozer, the deputies were taking the suspect, Christopher Cook, into custody when they were suddenly confronted by an armed suspect who was inside the house, WSB reported.

“Both deputies gave that individual loud, clear, firm commands to drop the weapon,” Chief VanHoozer said. “He did not do that. At that point, there was an exchange of gunfire between the subject and the deputies…”

The alleged gunman was later identified as Christopher Golden, WSB reported.

At least one of the injured deputies was able to radio for help, according to WAGA.

“We have an officer down,” a dispatcher was heard saying over the radio at approximately 7:48 p.m.

Area law enforcement officers swarmed the scene, followed shortly thereafter by medics and firefighters, WAGA reported.

The wounded heroes were rushed to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, where they were both pronounced dead shortly before 9 p.m.

“My two deputies were ambushed and killed,” Sheriff Owens later confirmed.

Police said two suspects barricaded themselves inside the residence in the wake of the fatal shooting, resulting in a SWAT unit and other specialized law enforcement teams responding to the scene, WAGA reported.

Residents said they heard commotion at the house at approximately 11 p.m., and some reported that they saw smoke coming from the home.

Deputies were also ordering the suspects to surrender, witnesses told WAGA.

Sheriff Owens said the suspects ultimately “came out peacefully” and were taken into custody without further incident.

Golden was charged with three counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and three counts of felony murder, WSB reported.

Cook was arrested on the felony theft warrant.

Sheriff Owens described Deputy Koleski, 42, and Deputy Ervin, 38, as “young, bright deputies” who served their communities with “dignity and honor,” WAGA reported.

“It is a sad night, this evening, for the citizens of Cobb County and for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office and for law enforcement at home,” the sheriff told reporters early Friday morning.

“Even more so, it is a night of heartache for two families from the Cobb Sheriff’s Office, two wives who have lost their amazing husbands,” he added.

Deputy Ervin, a father of two, served the CCSO for 10 years, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

In addition to his service as a law enforcement officer, Deputy Koleski was also a U.S. Army veteran who served multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, WXIA reported.

He joined the department in 2007, according to his obituary.

“Inexpressible condolences go out to the families of the two heroes who gave their lives last night in this community,” Chief VanHoozer said during the press conference on Sept. 9. “The families and friends and coworkers of the officers are in our thoughts.”

Deputy Koleski will be laid to rest on Sept. 14, WXIA reported.

Deputy Ervin will be laid to rest the following day.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Cobb County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jonathan Koleski and Deputy Marshall Ervin, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Deputy Jonathan Koleski and Deputy Marshall Ervin, your lives mattered.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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