BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WTXL) — Back the Badge Big Bend, with the Decatur County Sheriff's Department is unveiling a digital billboard near the 27 bypass in memory of Decatur County deputy Captain Justin Bedwell.
Capt. Bedwell's wife, Katherine Henderson Bedwell, and daughter, Maddie Lue Chapman, were in attendance.
"The law enforcement community nationwide has reached out," said Katherine Bedwell. "Everyday people from all walks of life have reached out to us. Our local Blue Line Family spoke the words, 'SO-9, we will take it from here,' and put action to those words I could never describe.
Capt. Bedwell died Monday, March 1, 2021, at a Tallahassee hospital following an officer-involved shooting in Brinson on February 27, 2021.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the shooting happened near U.S. Highway 84 and State Road 310 on Saturday, February 27, stemming from a car chase that began in Seminole County.
Seminole County deputies tried to pull over a white Chevrolet pickup truck for reckless driving Saturday night when the suspects inside the vehicle, 41-year-old Brad Phillips and his 40-year-old brother Troy Arthur Phillips, opened fire.
Decatur County deputies joined the chase once it crossed over into the county, where the suspects attempted to break into a Decatur County home by shooting through the door.
However, the homeowner returned fire and the suspects drove away.
The GBI said that as another Decatur County deputy, Capt. Bedwell, was arriving in the area, one of the suspects shot at the deputy’s vehicle, hitting the deputy.
The Phillips brothers were denied bond and face multiple charges, including felony murder, aggravated assault of a Peace Officer, and party to the crime of murder.
Captain Bedwell's funeral took place on March 4, 2021, at Centennial Field in Bainbridge. He was a 19-year veteran of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office.