Holly Springs is mourning an officer killed in the line of duty Wednesday night — an officer said to have been the model professional.
The department has identified the officer as 25-year-old Joe Burson. He’d been with the department for a year and a half.
Police Chief Tom Keheley told reporters that if he had the ability to clone police officers, the public would have wanted that officer to be Burson.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Holly Springs Police haven’t released many details, citing an ongoing investigation.
Authorities told reporters that Burson pulled over 29-year-old Ansy Dolce of Cherokee County at the intersection of Harmony Lake Drive and Hickory Road just after 11 p.m. on Wednesday. At some point, GBI said Dolce attempted to escape in his car. Dolce then dragged Burson down Hickory Road until the vehicle crashed. During the incident, GBI said Burson fired shots at Dolce. Other officers on the scene rendered aid to both Burson and Dolce.
Dolce was taken to North Fulton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Burson was transported to Kennestone Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Keheley did say investigators are examining several angles of body camera and dash camera footage and other evidence, including a camera worn by Burson.
Flags were at half-staff Thursday, as a makeshift memorial of flowers, balloons and notes of sympathy grew outside the Holly Springs Police Department in Cherokee County.
Assistant GBI Director John Melvin said he attended the police academy with Burson, and in a Facebook post, Melvin wrote that the loss “hurts more than I can express.”
WABE’s Lily Oppenheimer spoke about the latest developments with WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress.