By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Honoring Statesboro PD heroes
Wounded in the line of duty, APO Joey DeLoach receives medals, along with Officer Nicholas Sparks-Hoskins, who helped save his life
After recognizing APO Joey DeLoach, center, Statesboro Police Chief Mike Broadhead pins an award on Officer Nicolas Sparks-Hoskins, recognizing the two officers for their valor in the line of duty at the beginning of Tuesday's City Council meeting Tuesday. DeLoach was shot on April 16 while investigating a subject for illegally entering vehicles and Sparks-Hoskins rendered first aid that saved DeLoach's life. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Severely wounded while investigating a crime April 16, Statesboro Advanced Police Officer Joey DeLoach received the department’s Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart and fellow Officer Nicolas Sparks-Hoskins, who helped save his life, received the Life Saving Award, during a ceremony Tuesday at City Hall.

After reading the proclamations for the medals, Statesboro Police Chief Mike Broadhead pinned the medals on each officer.

DeLoach was shot April 16 while attempting to question a suspect for illegally entering vehicles at a local apartment complex.

During the incident, Deloach suffered a life-threatening wound to his left leg that struck the femoral artery. Fellow Officer Nicolas Sparks-Hoskins, who was part of the call to the complex, rendered aid to Deloach immediately, applying a tourniquet to stem the bleeding. He was rushed to East Georgia Regional Medical Center and then flown to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah.

"The surgeon told us that without that tourniquet he'd have never met Joey," Broadhead said after the shooting. "So, legit saved his life."

After Tuesday’s ceremony, a humble Officer Sparks-Hoskins simply said: "I'm just glad I was there."

APO Joey DeLoach of the Statesboro Police Department and wife Brittany listen as Mayor Jonathan McCollar reads a City proclamation for National Police Week after DeLoach and Officer Nicolas Sparks-Hoskins were recognized for their valor on the job. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

DeLoach remained at Memorial in Savannah for nine days and has undergone several surgeries on his leg. He was walking well Tuesday, but remains on medical leave while continuing rehabilitation.

“We are going to leave it up to Joey and his family to tell us when he is ready to come back,” Broadhead said May 9.

DeLoach was one of several SPD officers sent to Copper Beech Townhomes on Statesboro Place Circle April 16 for a report of a man unlawfully entering vehicles in the parking lot.

DeLoach saw a man matching the description given inside of a parked vehicle. He ordered him out of the vehicle and, immediately after exiting, the suspect fired at DeLoach, who fired back.

The suspect, Anthony Kent, fled into a wooded area before emerging near Brampton Avenue, where he was taken into custody by SPD officers and Bulloch County Sheriff’s deputies.

Kent, 19, of Vidalia was indicted by a Bulloch County Grand Jury May 7 and is charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer, two counts of entering, theft by receiving stolen property/felony and obstruction of an officer/felony. He remains in the Bulloch County Jail.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter