ORANGE (CBSLA) — Police in Orange County are mourning one of their own after he was shot and killed in Georgia Saturday.
Officer Antwan Toney of the Gwinnett County Police Dept. was killed while he was checking out a suspicious vehicle parked near a middle school near the town of Snellville about 25 miles outside of Atlanta.
Isaiah Pretlow, 19, was arrested Saturday night and charged with aggravated assault. A second suspect 18-year-old Tafahree Maynard was charged with aggravated assault and felony murder but remained on the loose Sunday.
On Monday, Maynard was fatally shot by police who found him hiding in a backyard shed at a home in Snellville. Police said Maynard refused to obey commands and was tased before being shot when an officer saw a metal lawnmower blade in his hand, CBS News reported.
Toney was a Tustin native who for two years participated in the nearby City of Orange’s Explorer program for youth interested in law enforcement when he was 17 years old. The 30-year-old had been with the Gwinnett County Police Dept. for nearly three years, his first job as police officer.
His brother, who did not wish to be on camera, told CBS2 News over the phone he was with his brother just last week, when they celebrated Toney’s 30th birthday in Las Vegas. He said becoming a police officer had been his brother’s lifelong dream.
“Ever since he could first play with little toys and, you know, police cars, he always said he wanted to be a policeman — ‘I wanna be a cop. I wanna be a policeman.’ That’s all he said,” Dartangan Johnson told CBS2.
The City of Orange Police Dept. tweeted photos of Toney as an Explorer and as an officer Sunday, expressing their condolences.
“When we first learned of the news early this morning, and we have a couple of officers who are out working today who were explorers with Officer Toney, they were definitely very sad to hear of the events that happened yesterday,” said Jennifer Amat with the Orange Police Dept. “There’s definitely a somber feel that we have here at the police department today.
“They all loved him,” added Amat. “They said that he was the kind of guy that would walk into the room and he would just light up the room, and said he smiled everywhere he went.”
Johnson remembered his brother much the same way. “I don’t know. It’s so hard, but, you know, I’m just happy for him because I know that he’s up in heaven, and I know that he died doing what he wanted to do,” Toney’s distraught brother said.
Some local members of the National Guard will be traveling to Georgia to participate in Toney’s funeral proceedings next week.
This story has been updated.