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Thursday January 20th, 2022 2:07AM

Man arrested in death of Georgia officer slain on 1st shift

By The Associated Press

ALAMO, Ga. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man suspected of gunning down a Georgia police officer during his first shift with the department.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Sunday that 43-year-old Damien Anthony Ferguson had been taken into custody after a large manhunt. No other details were released, and authorities said they planned to hold a news conference later in the day.

Authorities have said that Ferguson fatally shot Officer Dylan Harrison, 26, outside the Alamo Police Department early Saturday. Officials have not said what prompted the shooting in Wheeler County, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southeast of Macon.

“Officer Harrison was a part-time Alamo police officer working his first shift with the department last night,” GBI spokesperson Natalie Ammons said during a news conference, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She said Harrison was also a full-time Oconee Drug Task Force agent in nearby Dodge County.

Harrison lived in Laurens County and is survived by his wife and their 6-month-old son.

“Our sincerest thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Officer Dylan Harrison who was killed in the line of duty last night in Alamo,” Telfair County Sheriff Sim Davidson wrote in a Facebook post. “We are sincerely grateful for his service.”

Harrison was the first Alamo officer killed in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page that tracks law enforcement deaths. In January, Alamo Police Officer Arturo Villegas died from COVID-19 complications.

Gov. Brian Kemp and the Georgia Department of Public Safety tweeted condolences to the officer’s family and colleagues.

“May God continue to be with all who protect and serve,” Kemp wrote.

At least five Georgia officers have been killed in the line of duty this year, and nearly two dozen more have died from COVID-19, according to the memorial page. Seven Georgia officers were killed in the line of duty in 2020.

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