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Arrest Made in Killing of Officer on First Shift

Damien Ferguson charged with murder of Georgia police officer Dylan Harrison
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2021 5:33 AM CDT
Updated Oct 11, 2021 1:33 PM CDT
Georgia Police Officer Is Killed During First Shift
In this photo released by Georgia Department of Public Safety, Damien Ferguson is photographed after he was apprehended Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Alamo, Ga.   (Georgia Department of Public Safety via AP)

(Newser) Update: An arrest has been made in the killing of a 26-year-old police officer in Georgia who was working his first shift with a new department. Damien Ferguson, 43, was arrested Sunday and charged with the murder of Dylan Harrison, Fox reports. Harrison was shot dead outside a police station in Alamo in what police described as an ambush-style attack around 1am Saturday. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Harrison was apparently murdered in retaliation for arresting one of Ferguson's associates across the street from the precinct hours earlier. Investigators say Harrison used his Taser on the Ferguson associate after the man resisted arrest. Our original story from Oct. 9 follows:

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A Georgia police officer was killed during his very first day on the job with a new department Saturday. Dylan Harrison, 26, had just started as a part-time officer with the Alamo Police Department when he was shot at 1am outside the station. Suspected shooter Damien Anthony Ferguson, a 43-year-old ex-felon who had formerly been convicted of charges including aggravated assault on an officer, is being sought. No motive or details on what led to the shooting, which took place in a county about 120 miles west of Savannah, have been released.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains Harrison, who is survived by a wife and 6-month-old son, "held multiple overlapping law enforcement jobs" with small police departments, which is typical among officers in this rural part of Georgia. He worked part-time for the Cochran Police Department from September 2018 to May 2020 and was currently employed as a full-time drug task force agent in Dodge County. As for the Alamo Police Department, the Journal-Constitution cites records showing it had just nine officers, five of whom worked part-time, and oversaw a population of 3,300 people.

Harrison is the first Alamo officer ever killed in the line of duty and the fifth in the state this year. 11Alive spoke with his mother-in-law, who said Harrison was texting with his wife of two years just prior to being shot. "He was super nice to everybody, give you the shirt off his back no matter what," she said of her son-in-law. CNN reports a $17,500 reward is being offered for information that leads to Ferguson's capture. (Read more police officer stories.)

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