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Suspect charged with murder in the killings of 2 Georgia sheriff’s deputies shot while serving an arrest warrant

By Amy Simonson, CNN

Two men are facing charges after two Cobb County, Georgia, sheriff’s deputies were fatally shot Thursday while serving an arrest warrant.

The men, Christopher Golden and Christopher Cook, made their first appearances at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center Friday and were charged. Neither has been assigned an attorney yet.

Golden was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and two counts of murder in connection to the fatal shooting of Deputies Marshall Ervin Jr. and Jonathan Koleski.

Cobb County Sheriff Craig D. Owens previously called the killings an ambush.

Cook faces the original theft by deception charges listed on the warrant the officers were executing, according to Cobb County Police Department Chief Stuart VanHoozer, whose department is investigating the officer-involved shootings. Cook has not been charged in connection with the shooting.

In a news conference Friday, VanHoozer said the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office was attempting to serve an arrest warrant at a residence in Marietta Thursday. Marietta is about 30 minutes northwest of Atlanta.

While serving the warrant, the two deputies attempted to take Cook into custody in the driveway.

“While they were doing that, they were confronted by an individual inside the home with a weapon,” VanHoozer said. Both deputies gave that individual “clear verbal commands” to drop the weapon but he did not, the chief said.

“At that point, there was an exchange of gunfire between the subject and the deputies. Both deputies were struck by gunfire, and both deputies succumbed to their wounds.”

VanHoozer identified the armed individual in the home who shot the deputies as Golden. Both Golden and Cook surrendered to police after a “brief standoff” inside the home, authorities said.

“Last night was a horrible night for us here in Cobb County,” Owens, the sheriff, said during the news conference. “We lost two great deputies.”

Ervin, 38, was married with two children, and Koleski, 42, was also married, according to Owens. Ervin joined the department in 2012 and Koleski joined in 2007, the sheriff’s office said on Twitter.

They were “outstanding men — men of character and integrity” who were loved by their family and their children, the sheriff added.

The investigation is still in early stages, VanHoozer said, and investigators will go through bodycam video, testimonial evidence and physical evidence.

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