We’ve just received confirmation out of Gwinnett County, Georgia that a retired police officer was killed during an armed robbery on Wednesday night.
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office took to Facebook to extend their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
According to the GCSO, retired Gwinnett County Sergeant Felix Cosme was shot and killed during an an attempted robbery at an auto parts store on Hamilton Mill in Buford.
Reports confirmed that the store that was being robbed was where Cosme was employed. Police say that during the attempted theft, Cosme jumped in to protect his fellow co-workers from being harmed.
“Sergeant Cosme died a hero’s death as he attempted to protect himself and a female co-worker from a violent criminal with no regard for human life. His next of kin was notified on scene last night,” the Sheriff’s Office reported.
According to AJC.com, Cosme was attempting to draw his own sidearm when he was fatally shot.
Investigators say the perpetrator had parked his vehicle in the lot and watched as the female employee helped another customer outside of the store. As that customer left, the suspect then followed the employee back into the store and demanded the cash inside.
“Once they got back inside, the suspect asked her to open the cash drawer,” police spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera said in a news release.
We mourn this loss. Keeping the Cosme family in our thoughts & prayers. Rest In Peace. https://t.co/j92VtCkVDY
— GA Bureau of Invest (@GBI_GA) January 9, 2020
Cosme was in the back and reportedly heard the commotion. He came out with his weapon drawn but was shot in the process.
“The male employee attempted to pull his weapon when he was shot by the suspect,” she said. “The victim died at the scene.”
Authorities say that the suspect who is wanted in the fatal shooting is still on the run, and police are looking for any information that could lead to their capture.
They were last seen headed toward I-85, according to reports.
“We do have that female employee, who we hope is a good witness,” Pihera said in an interview with Channel 2 Action News. “Next we will see if they had surveillance cameras and if they were working properly to give us a good description.”
If anyone has any information to share in this case, please contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300. To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.stopcrimeATL.com.
Crime Stoppers tipsters can receive a cash reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case. Case Number: 20-002382
The suspect was only described as a black male.
— Gwinnett County Police (@GwinnettPd) January 9, 2020
Sergeant Cosme was employed by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office starting in April 2006 and served in Jail Administration until his retirement in November 2015, according to the Facebook post.
“Please keep Sergeant Cosme’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers,” the GCSO wrote.
Also Thursday morning we received word that a police officer in Lakeland, Florida was killed on as he made his way into work.
The tragic news comes on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
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According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the fallen officer was identified as 50-year-old Paul Dunn.
“About 5:45 this morning we received a 911 call about a vehicle crash,” the sheriff said in a press briefing on Thursday morning.
Officer Dunn was reportedly on his way into work when the crash occurred.
“We don’t know at this time why his motorcycle left the roadway, hit the median and crashed.”
The sheriff said that authorities are investigating claims that another vehicle may have forced the officer off the road, causing him to leave the roadway and become involved in the fatal crash, but investigators have not fully confirmed that.
According to initial reports, Dunn was riding to work on his Harley Davidson Police Road King motorcycle, heading north on Lakeland-Highlands Road just south of Lake Miriam Drive when the crash occurred.
One of the first people on scene, a local deputy’s wife, described what she witnessed as she came across the accident.
“I could see lights in the area but nothing else. As I came closer, I saw it was a police officer and a motorcycle down in the road.”
A nurse practitioner stopped along with other motorists and began to perform CPR, noting that the officer had a very weak pulse.
As emergency responders arrived at the scene, a crew transported Dunn to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
According to the sheriff’s office, Dunn lived just a few minutes away from where the crash happened. He is being remembered as an incredible officer who always had a smile on his face.
“All we know for sure at this point in the investigation is that he left the roadway, hit a median, lost control of the motorcycle and ultimately crashed. He then died as a result of the crash,” they said in a statement.
The investigation is ongoing, but authorities are pursuing every lead.
“We will leave no stone unturned.”
The press briefing was held as choked up law enforcement officials provided details to reporters.
“This is our family,” the sheriff said to reporters. “Bad things happen to good people every day.”
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
On Thursday, January 9, the 5th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day will be happening all across the nation. This day was created by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), the national nonprofit with a mission to rebuild the shattered lives of survivors and co-workers affected by line-of-duty death.
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