By Kathy Jefcoats
JONESBORO — Funeral services are set this morning for a Clayton County police officer shot and killed in the line of duty Monday.
Officer Sean Louis Callahan, 24, of Kennesaw is the first officer from that department to die by gunfire in the line of duty. He is the second countywide officer in Clayton to die in 17 months.
Services will begin at 11 a.m. at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church at 955 Johnson Ferry Road in Marietta with Pastor Ron Hughes presiding. Burial will follow at Winkerhofer Pine Ridge Memorial Park at 2950 N. Cobb Parkway in Kennesaw.
Visitation was held Thursday night at Winkerhofer Pine Ridge Funeral Home.
Callahan was born in New Orleans and attended Lassiter High School, Reinhardt College and Kennesaw State University. Relatives said he was passionate about music, fitness, family and friends and his dogs. Callahan enjoyed swimming, racquetball and working out. He was also an avid reader.
Callahan was shot while answering a disturbance call at Motel 6 in Stockbridge Monday afternoon. Upon arriving at the motel, Callahan and other officers encountered Tremaine Lynn Lebis and his wife, Lisa Ann Lebis, both 41, of Turner Road in McDonough.
Police said both suspects fought with officers trying to arrest them. Lisa Lebis reportedly kicked a sheriff's deputy in the chest. Her husband broke free and ran around a building before firing at Callahan.
Officers returned fire, killing Tremaine Lebis, a convicted felon on parole until 2016 for aggravated assault and weapons charges. He was released from state prison in May after serving 15 years.
Lisa Lebis posted a $17,500 bond on simple battery on a police officer and obstruction of a police officer and has been released from the Clayton County Jail, according to records. When she made her first appearance in Magistrate Court Tuesday afternoon, she told Chief Magistrate Judge Daphne Walker she is five months pregnant, is diabetic, has seizures and has a brain aneurysm.
Callahan had worked with the Clayton County Police Department for four months and was assigned to the North Precinct in Riverdale.
Lt. William Ibarrondo was Callahan’s supervisor. He said when he heard about the shooting his first concern was the officer's injuries.
“I wanted to see if he was OK and check on his well-being,” he said.
Ibarrondo said domestic violence calls are typically the most dangerous for police because the parties involved often turn on responding officers. He said he knows Callahan made the ultimate sacrifice in doing his job.
“We can’t question God’s work,” said Ibarrondo. “We have to make sure each one of us gets home. Sean is with God. Some gave some, he gave all. He put himself in harm's way to protect and serve others.”
But Lt. Chris Windley said police officers face dangers every time they don the uniform.
"Our job as police officers is to protect and serve," he said. "Our job requires us to run to face the danger, no matter what the circumstances. We don't do this job to be seen, we do this job to protect our nation."
Ibarrondo said Callahan loved his job and never complained.
“He was the department’s shining star,” he said. “Callahan had an ambition to be a K-9 officer and eventually join the SWAT team. There is no doubt in my mind that he would have accomplished it.”
"We do this job because it is something that we love to do," said Windley. "Officer Sean Louis Callahan joined the Clayton County Police Department because he wanted to do something that he loved."
Callahan paid his way through the police academy, rather than finding a sponsor agency. After graduating, he started working for the Clayton County Police department.
“Most people wait until they are hired by a police department and let that department pay for the academy,” he said.
Windley said the job of a police officer is not an easy one.
"A police officer is a job that only a few people have the mental and physical ability to perform," he said. "For those few men and woman that do have those abilities, it is an honor to be able to put on that uniform."
Ibarrondo said Clayton officers feel like they have lost a brother. He said their sense of loss is more visible during roll call and meetings.
“It’s hard, but we continue to do our job and carry his spirit with us.” he said. “The unity is there, we have a bond. We’ve always been like a family. What gets us through this is the support of the community.”
Windley asked for prayers for the Callahan family, the police department and the Clayton County community as they endure the loss of a fallen comrade.
Staff writer Elaine Rackley contributed to this article.