Georgia police officer becomes sixth from state to have been killed in the line of duty in 2018

A Georgia police officer died Friday after spending weeks fighting for his life following a shooting incident in early December.

The Henry County Police Department says Officer Michael Smith passed away early this morning stemming from complications related to a gunshot injury he suffered while in the line of duty Dec. 6.

Smith had been called to investigate a man acting erratically at a dental office in McDonough, outside of Atlanta, when he was shot. Police say 53-year-old Dimaggio McNelly got into a physical altercation with Smith after he was approached, and, during the ensuing scuffle, the officer’s weapon was fired once, killing McNelly at the scene and hitting Smith in the face, Fox5Atlanta reported.

"Please continue to pray for Michael's family during these difficult times," Henry County Police Chief Mark Amerman said Friday in a Facebook message announcing the officer’s death.

Smith becomes the sixth officer to have been killed in the line of duty in Georgia this year.

He was a 7-year veteran of the Henry County Police Department and is survived by his wife and 3-year-old son, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.