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Father steps in front of bullet meant for his son in Covington
Treated at area hospital after shooting which began as fight over money, police say

COVINGTON, Ga. — A father who stepped in front of a bullet meant for his son was being treated for a gunshot wound and his alleged teen assailant was behind bars in the Newton County jail following the Friday incident.

Brady Smith was transported to an area hospital and was being treated for a gunshot wound after a bullet from a .22-caliber rifle struck him Friday, March 26, about 3 p.m., said spokesman Capt. Ken Malcom of the Covington Police Department.

Gabriel Chanunda Bell Jr., 19, of 10144 Allen Drive was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault in the attack, Malcom said.

He said the incident apparently began as a disagreement over money between the suspect and the victim’s son, Toddrick Smith, at Bell’s Allen Drive residence, Malcom said.

Brady Smith was in an area nearby and was not involved in the original meeting, Malcom said.

However, the father heard the argument escalating and “became involved in the incident,” Malcom said.

“At some point, (the suspect) produced a .22-caliber rifle,” he said. 

Brady Smith then “stepped in front of his son” and a bullet entered and exited his ribcage, the spokesman said.

The victim’s condition was not immediately available today, Malcom said.

Bell was being held in the Newton County Jail today without bond, according to jail records.

Gabriel Bell
Gabriel Bell Jr. - photo by Courtesy of the Newton County Sheriff's Office