Remembering a partner, friend: Bibb County Sheriff’s investigator missing slain deputy every day

It’s been nearly two months since the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office lost K9 Deputy Brad Johnson. At the same time, BCSO Investigator Chris Poole was also shot. But even worse, he lost a long-time friend.

“I wish none of this would have happened,” Poole said.

Johnson, 32, was shot while responding to a stolen vehicle call on June 29. He died the next day, but lives on through those who benefited from his being an organ donor. That’s just like him, Poole said.

“He is with the heavenly Father,” Poole said. “He is an angel right now. I know that each time I get in that patrol car, I have a front seat rider with me.”

Poole responded to the same call and was shot in the head during the incident. But it wasn’t yet his time to go.

“They said had it been just a little over, I wouldn’t be here,” Poole said. “So, that day it was like God spoke to me and said ‘you still have a purpose here. You still have a purpose. You still have people.’ There was a point in time right after that I was like, ‘do, I still want to do this job?’ I know what Brad Johnson would say. He would say we are going to keep on fighting the bad guys and that is exactly what I am going to do.”

Johnson and Poole were more than co-workers, and while Poole is back at work, his job, life and community will never be the same.

“At the hospital when I got to go and see him, I told him I loved him and that I didn’t want to say goodbye,” Poole said.

And if there are TVs in heaven, Poole this message for his friend and hero.

“I would tell him I love him,” Poole said. There’s so much I could say. I would tell him how much I miss him.”

The man accused of killing Johnson and shooting Poole, 26-year-old Austin Patrick Hall, remains in police custody with no bond.

Because God is so forgiving, Poole said he will be too. He said he forgives Hall and hopes he gets the help he needs. After all, it’s what Johnson would have done.

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