Atlanta is dealing with a terrible loss today as the city mourns two police officers who were killed when their search helicopter lost control and crashed into a street.
Shawn Smiley and Richard Halford were involved in an air search for a missing 9-year old boy when something went horribly wrong; the copter lost control and went down, killing them both on impact. The debris caused no injuries on the ground, although the crash caused a major power outage in the area. An investigation is pending by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, but officials say the helicopter hit a power line before it crashed.
Atlanta Police Chief George Turner praised the officers–who were both fathers–and said they died honorably in the line of duty. The missing boy was later found safe and said he’d run away after an argument with his mother.
“Losing an officer is the most difficult thing a police chief can face,” Turner said. “Losing two is an unthinkable tragedy. Our hearts go out to the families of these officers and our thoughts and prayers are with them. This is a difficult day … it is a reminder of their bravery and the sacrifices made by our officers every day.”