Ofc. Smith’s family kicks off Atlanta United season opener

Erin Grace Smith (center), wife of fallen Henry County Police Ofc. Michael Smith, carries their son Asher Reed Smith onto the pitch at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta to kick off Atlanta United’s season opener last Sunday. (Staff Photo: Jason Braverman)

ATLANTA — The wife and son of fallen Henry County Police Officer Michael Smith were the guests of honor at Atlanta United’s season opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Sunday.

Erin Grace Smith grinned from ear to ear as she carried son Asher Reed Smith through the fog and confetti and onto the pitch.

The Five Stripes tied FC Cincinnati 1-1.

Smith died as a result of a gunshot wound sustained in November 2018 while attempting to subdue Dimaggio McNelly, who police say was acting irrationally in a McDonough dental office. The pair struggled over Smith’s service weapon. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation found that a single bullet struck both men.

Smith was hospitalized, then transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for rehabilitation, but died during surgery a few days after Christmas. He was buried with full police honors and a massive funeral procession through Henry County.

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