People reacted with shock Thursday to news that the was a former teacher and a retired Marine.
After responding to a domestic dispute on May 9 at the Ivy Creek subdivision in Loganville, police reported they had no choice but to shoot the man involved. The man has been identified as Michael Holloway, 59, a retired special education teacher who had worked at Carver Middle School in Monroe after retiring from the Marine Corps.
Maj. Charles Davenport, USAF Ret., knew Holloway from the years they worked together at Carver Middle School. Davenport said he was saddened to learn Holloway was the man involved in the shooting.
“When I worked with him for three years, he was a wonderful man,” Davenport said. “We worked on the same hall, the eighth grade hall. I taught science and he was one of the special ed teachers. More specifically, he took care of the EBD children, the self-contained children – those who had physical disabilities. He was a wonderful resource on the hall for handling children who were having difficulties.”
Davenport said it is hard for him to reconcile the man he knew with the man involved in Wednesday's shooting, but he said you never know what can make people change.
“The Mike I know was not the typical Marine you see in the movies – the stiff, cold sort of person,” Davenport said. “In contrast, Mike was a gentle soul. He just had this loving way. I got to know him personally when he organized the Veterans’ Memorial Day event at Carver. All of us had tremendous respect for him.”
Davenport said he doesn’t know about Holloway's time in any active duty but never recognized signs of post-traumatic stress in civilian life.
“I’m not qualified to make that diagnosis, but there wasn’t anything that I saw,” Davenport said. “That being said though, God bless those police officers who had to make that choice. How terrible for them.”
Chief Mike McHugh said the officers involved in the shooting were taking it badly, especially since it was the second one in less than a month.
A domestic issue three weeks ago after a 14-hour standoff ended when police returned fire, killing a man holed up in a home in the Pebble Point subdivision in Loganville. In both instances, LPD officers and Walton County Sheriff’s deputies had responded.
The Loganville Police Department authorized the expenditure Thursday of $6,000 for a policy that would cover counseling and treatment for officers involved in such situations.
“And not a moment too soon,” McHugh said. “This has been very hard on them.”
According to the report released to the media, Holloway had been shooting through the door of the home when officers were dispatched. Police had talked him into putting down the two weapons he had with him and were coming out of their cover to take him into custody when he moved to retrieve the weapons. The officers immediately fired, killed Holloway.
As is customary in all police shootings, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate the incident. GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jesse Maddox confirmed that both investigations are now under way.
“We put a high priority of these types of investigations and will get both of them concluded as soon as we can,” he said.
City Council members offered their support of the LPD, as did some citizens, at Thursday’s meeting. However, There, there have been those who have been critical, questioning why deadly force was necessary.
Davenport said he doesn’t see that how police had any other option.
“As a retired Air Force navigator, we called it the 1 and 60 rule, and that would apply here too,” Davenport said. “For every 1 degree of error in your flight path, after 60 miles you’re one mile off track.
"These situations are not like you see in the movies with Clint Eastwood standing dead still and without any fear. Those officers have a split second to make that decision. Everyone is moving, so the chances of hitting a small location like a hand or an arm accurately isn’t anything like you see in the movies. And they’re scared. Any police officer or military man who tells you that aren’t scared in a situation like that is not telling the truth.”
Davenport said he has sympathy for everyone involved.
“I’m sorry that my old friend Mike Holloway is dead, that this old Marine that I knew is gone,” Davenport said. “But it’s not the fault of the police. Mike made a choice.”
Funeral details for Holloway have not yet been released.