First Responders

Georgia Police Officer Killed Hours After He Began 1st Shift

October 12, 2021Noelle Wiehe
Georgia police officer

Authorities said Alamo Police Department Officer Dylan Harrison, 26, left, died at the hands of Damien Ferguson, right, who is pictured here being arrested Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, by Georgia Department of Public Safety Special Weapons and Tactics. Photos courtesy of the Braintree (Massachusetts) Police Department and the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A funeral procession brought the body of Alamo Police Department Officer Dylan Harrison home to Dublin, Georgia, on Monday, Oct. 11, two days after a man gunned him down.

Harrison, 26, died in the line of duty Saturday, only hours after he began moonlighting as a part-time officer at the police department in the Georgia hamlet of 3,346 people.

He leaves behind his wife, Heather Harrison, née Milks, and their 6-month-old son, Brody.

“I have never experienced a grief that I have felt since Officer Dylan Harrison’s life was taken in our small, quiet town,” Alamo Police Chief Karen Zanders said during a Sunday press conference.

Monday’s procession snaked from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Atlanta to the Stanley Funeral Home and Crematory in Dublin.

The GBI accuses Damien Anthony Ferguson, 43, of slaying Harrison in an ambush outside the Alamo police station at 1:01 a.m. Saturday.

Agents believe Ferguson’s motive was tied to an altercation Harrison had earlier in the evening with a suspected traffic scofflaw in a Circle K convenience store parking lot across the street from the station.

When Harrison asked the man for his name and identification, he refused. A verbal spat escalated to pushing, and then the officer discharged his Taser stun gun. Harrison arrested the man and booked him into the Wheeler County Jail, according to the GBI.

In a written statement released Sunday, the GBI alleged that Ferguson was a “known associate” of the arrested man and that the “ambush-style attack” that killed Harrison was “retaliation for the incident and arrest of the man.”

Zanders said of Harrison, “His life was taken from him for simply doing his job.”

The GBI issued a “Blue Alert” Saturday, triggering a statewide law enforcement dragnet for Ferguson and a $17,500 reward for information about his whereabouts.

The State of Georgia Special Weapons and Tactics Team and the US Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force detained Ferguson 38 hours later at his home in Alamo.

murder suspect
On Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, less than a mile from where Alamo Police Officer Dylan Harrison was murdered, the State of Georgia Special Weapons and Tactics Team took Damien Anthony Ferguson into custody without incident. Photo courtesy of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

Also known as “Luke” and “Damion” Ferguson, Harrison’s alleged killer is being held without bond at the Laurens County Detention Center in Dublin. Prosecutors charged him with the murder of the police officer and an unrelated aggravated stalking felony linked to a previous domestic violence case.

Harrison was a full-time Drug Task Force Agent in nearby Eastman and had also served as a paramedic and firefighter.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Read Next: Navy Nuclear Engineer Charged With Trying To Sell Submarine Secrets

Noelle Wiehe
Noelle Wiehe

Noelle is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die through a fellowship from Military Veterans in Journalism. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and interned with the US Army Cadet Command. Noelle also worked as a civilian journalist covering several units, including the 75th Ranger Regiment on Fort Benning, before she joined the military as a public affairs specialist.

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