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Region Rocked by Murder
of Two Young Police Officers

From the December 14, 2016 issue of The Journal
By Richard Harris
   The region was rocked last week by the murder of two young police officers, Nicholas Smarr and Jody Smith, both 25-years-old and both engaged to be married, in Americus.
   Officer Smarr of the Americus Police Department and Officer Smith of Georgia Southwestern State University Campus Police responded to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment last Wednesday morning, Dec. 7, with Smarr approaching the front and Smith taking the back.

   Smarr, after hearing commotion inside the residence, entered the front door, which was already partially open. He recognized Minguell K. Lembrick, 32, a local criminal who reportedly had a long "rap sheet" that included a previous warrant for kidnapping and domestic violence.
   Lembrick fled through the back door, shooting both officers as he made his escape. Although suffering wounds of his own, Smarr performed CPR on Smith as long as he could, but died of his injuries. Smith was transported to Navicent Health in Macon and died of his injuries the next day.
   A massive manhunt ensued with the murderer eventually being cornered in an Americus home where he shot himself in the head and died.
   In addition to sharing a profession, the officers were very close friends who both had excellent reputations and bright futures ahead of them. While they resided outside of The Journal's coverage area, a number of local residents were among their friends and family members. Mr. Smith was the brother of Marion County Middle/High School Nurse Jessica Smith Scott, who members of "Eagle Nation" have seen lending aid to and patching up members of the football team as needed on Friday nights.
   A wide variety of honors and memorials have already been made for the two officers, whose heroism and deaths have touched people not only in the area, but also across the entire country. Two examples include Governor Nathan Deal ordering the flying of the US and state flags at half-staff and a flower arrangement sent by the New York Yankees.
   For those who would like to honor the memory of the officers, Mr. Smarr's family suggests donations be made to the Nick Smarr Trust Fund at Sumter Bank & Trust, while Mr. Smith's family suggests donations to the Georgia Sheriff's Boy's Ranch.