Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies Jeff Wilson and Michael Norris
Deputy Michael Norris Deputy Jeff Wilson
Killed in Line of Duty Severely Wounded
were presented with the Charles “Bud” Meeks Award for Deputy Sheriff of the Year last night June 28, 2015. The award was presented to Deputy Norris’s family and to Deputy Wilson at the National Sheriffs’ Association summer conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The award recognizes deputy sheriffs who have demonstrated conspicuous bravery in the performance of his duties. The prestigious national award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions or accomplishments directly related to law enforcement.
Deputies Wilson and Norris were honored for their courageous actions during an incident that occurred last year. On Saturday, September 13, 2014, Monroe County, Georgia, Sheriff’s deputies Jeff Wilson and Michael Norris responded to a home in southern Monroe County to provide assistance to a man threatening suicide with a hand gun. Emergency 911 dispatchers were told by the man’s family that he was walking around inside the home with a gun to his head.
Deputy Wilson and Deputy Norris made contact with a family member outside the home who told them that other family members who resided in the home left out of concern for their safety but that the suicidal man’s father, who was in poor health and not ambulatory, was in a hospital bed in the living room of the home.
The deputies then walked to the front door of the house, with their weapons drawn, in order to make contact with the suicidal man. Deputy Norris pushed the front door open with his foot and the man inside the home quickly opened fire on the deputies, immediately shooting Deputy Norris in the head and leg. The man continued firing at Deputy Wilson as he attempted to dodge the man’s gunfire and find cover. While attempting to take cover behind his patrol vehicle, Deputy Wilson was shot three times, while returning fire to the suicidal gunman. Deputy Wilson shot the gunman in the leg at which point the gunman surrendered. Loosing blood rapidly and nearly losing consciousness, Deputy Wilson managed to disarm the gunman and handcuff him before passing out.
Monroe County Emergency Services, who were staged nearby, responded to the scene and transported Deputies Wilson and Norris to the Medical Center of Central Georgia. Deputy Norris was declared brain dead the following day. Per Deputy Norris’s wishes as an organ donor, his organs were harvested and given to others who were medical matches. Deputy Wilson was shot in the leg, buttocks and abdomen and underwent extensive physical therapy and has made a full recovery.
Deputy Wilson’s ability to act quickly under extreme stress and injury likely brought a rapid conclusion to an exceptionally dangerous situation. Faced with continuing the confrontation with the suicidal man while knowing that individual was willing to shoot to kill law enforcement took bravery and courage that exceeds what is expected in the line of duty. Additionally, to have the presence of mind to apprehend, disarm and handcuff the suspect while seriously injured is a testament to Deputy Wilson’s dedication and professionalism as a deputy.
Deputy Norris spent his life in service of others as a Boy Scout and volunteer firefighter before beginning his career in law enforcement. He continued to serve the citizens of Monroe County as a deputy with integrity, character and devotion. He displayed kindness in his actions and treated all he met with dignity. His last act as a deputy was one of service; he arrived on scene at Haley Drive willing and wanting to prevent another person from committing suicide. His last act was to give the gift of life to others through organ donation. He leaves a lasting and enduring legacy of service, commitment and dedication to all who wear a badge.
Deputy Jeff Wilson began his career with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in 2010 as a jail officer. He completed Basic Law Enforcement Training on December 17, 2010. He is assigned to the Patrol Division. He is married to Donna and they have four children. He lives in Culloden, Georgia.
Deputy Michael Norris began his career with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in 2012 as a jail officer. He completed Basic Law Enforcement Training on March 29, 2013. He was assigned to K.B. Sutton Elementary School as a School Resource Officer for the 2013-2014 school year and was transferred to the Patrol Division in June 2014. He leaves behind a wife, Logan, and parents Bennett and Fran Norris. He lived in Culloden, Georgia. He was 24 years old.
The award is given in memory and honor of Charles “Bud” Meeks, who served as Sheriff of Allen County, Indiana and as Executive Director of the National Sheriffs’ Association. The award is sponsored by Motorola and the National Sheriffs’ Association.