No foul play is suspected after local law enforcement officer Kevin Brooks was found dead in a wrecked car with a gunshot wound Saturday night on Highway 41 near exit 345 in Catoosa County, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Brooks’ name was released by Varnell Police Department Chief Lyle Grant on the department’s Facebook page on Sunday night. Grant said Brooks was a part-time patrol officer and investigator for the police department, and the Cohutta Police Department Facebook account identified Brooks as a reserve officer in Cohutta.
GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles wrote in a press release that no foul play was suspected. The Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office, Ringgold Police Department and Georgia State Patrol officers responded to the scene at about 8 p.m. and the GBI was called in at about 8:40 to investigate the death, Miles wrote in the release.
Witnesses said the vehicle was moving at a high rate of speed before crashing down an embankment, according to the release.
Grant wrote in his release that Brooks was off duty and in his personal vehicle and had last worked for the Varnell Police on Nov. 13 and was expected to have been on duty on Sunday.
“Officer Brooks will be sorely missed by our agency,” Grant said in the Facebook post. “Officer Brooks actually went above and beyond with our department being both a patrol officer on the street and also a criminal investigator. He has investigated cases of domestic violence, sexual-based crimes and narcotics crimes in our city, and works cases with other local detectives. Officer Brooks has worked for our agency on a part time bases from 2005-2007, and again from 2014 to the present date.”
Grant wrote that Brooks was twice a police chief — once in southwest Georgian and again in northeast Georgia — but didn’t post specifics.
“Specific examples where Officer Kevin Brooks has been a shining star with our agencies include in 2016 he was the lead investigator on an operation with illegal underage-alcohol sales in our jurisdiction,” Grant wrote. “During this operation Officer Brooks was able to identify numerous locations selling alcohol to minors in violation of Georgia law, and he was able to hold four businesses accountable in our jurisdiction violating Georgia law with his investigations. On this operation he worked closely with the Georgia Department of Revenue special agents to not only hold those accountable criminally, but also civilly.”
“In closing the loss of Officer Kevin Brooks on both a professional and personal level will be and has made a tragic impact on our agency and those of us who called him a co-worker and friend,” Grant wrote. “We ask for your thoughts and prayers during our time of loss, and that you keep the Brooks family in your prayers as well.”