Friends, family and colleagues are mourning the death of a rookie Clayton County police officer who was killed in the line of duty. Officer Sean Callahan passed away Tuesday morning after being shot in the head twice while trying to arrest a suspect during a domestic call.
Clayton County Police Chief Greg Porter told FOX 5 he is spending time with Officer Callahan's family, mother and step-father at their home in Cobb County.
"Very proud of Officer Callahan. I think he was a very good police officer," said Porter.
Flags flew at half-staff as the entire department coped with the loss.
"As a police chief, I take any incident seriously. However, when one of my own is involved in a situation, it seems like it hits home to me as a father, as a police chief, as a praying person," said Porter.
On Monday afternoon, Officer Callahan and other members of the department showed up at the Motel 6 on Highway 138. That's where a man and a woman were allegedly involved in a fight. The officer tried to arrest the couple. But police say the man started fighting back, took off running and fired at the officers.
They shot back, fatally wounding the man, according to police. Clayton County police identified that man as 42-year-old Tremaine Lynn Lebis, of Stockbridge, Ga.
"At least nine in a row somewhere along there, a second or two passed, and there was another eight or nine shots fired," said witness Dennis Rodgers.
Callahan was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition. He underwent surgery late Monday afternoon and died at 5:16 a.m. on Tuesday, according to a statement released on Tuesday.
In the statement, the department said, "Our job requires us to run, to face the danger. No matter what the circumstances. We don't do this job to be seen. We do this job to protect our nation."Officer Callahan joined the police force four months ago to do something that he loved. He is survived by his mother, sister and step-father. His biological father is deceased.
The woman involved in the incident, 41-year-old Lisa Lebis of Stockbridge, Ga., was arrested and charged with obstruction and simple battery, according to Clayton County police. More charges could be pending, officials say.
'HE JUST LIKED HELPING PEOPLE'
Officer Callahan joined the police force four months ago to do something that he loved. He is survived by his mother, sister and step-father. His biological father is deceased.
Chief Porter said that Callahan was the first Clayton County officer to be killed in the line of duty by gunfire.
Callahan's sister, Candice Shirley, said he was offered his "dream job" after applying for police jobs throughout the state and across the country.
"When he got the job with Clayton, he was beside himself. He was extremely excited," Shirley said.
Shirley said her brother had big plans with the department.
"He just liked helping people. He wanted to move up. A big thing that he wanted to do was do K-9," Shirley said.
Callahan's sister says she's proud of her brother, saying she last saw him five days ago and will miss their unique camaraderie.
"He always knew if you were in a bad mood-- how to get you out of that," she said.
Friends went by Callahan's family home in Kennesaw to pay their respect. They say that he wanted to serve and protect and died doing what he loved.
Justin Baker said that he met Sean when they were fifth grade. He said they were friends ever since and graduated from Lassiter High School in 2006.
Baker said that, even as kids, Sean knew he wanted to be a police officer so it was no surprise when he graduated from the academy.
"When we were kids, he was everybody's protector. He put -- everybody had to wear their seat belts. You know, like when we got to college, if you needed a [designated driver], he was your guy. And he just wanted to do so much good and he was able to do that, and unfortunately cut short of how much he could do," said Baker.
Baker said that the fallen officer's laugh would be remembered.
"He would be kind of quiet but when he laughed everybody knew it. It was awesome," said Baker.
Baker said that Callahan was an excellent athlete and was swim team at Lassiter.
Bakers said that he wasn't surprised that Callahan died trying to protect the public.
"It's not surprising when you realize what he was as a professional, because he was more than that as a person. Very selfless, always put others in front of himself," said Baker.
Callahan's former guidance counselor at Lassiter High said Sean was always facing challenges head on and positive and they were proud to hear he had become a police officer.
Funeral arrangements are now set for Officer Sean Callahan.
A visitation and viewing will be held Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Pineridge Memorial Park, located at 2950 Cobb Parkway in Kennesaw. His funeral will be Friday at 11 a.m. at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta.
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