ALAMO, Ga. – A Georgia police officer shot in the line of duty early Saturday was working his first shift with the Alamo Police Department when he was shot and killed outside his Middle Georgia police station, authorities said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Officer Dylan Harrison, 26, was working his first shift as a part-time officer with the Alamo Police when he was shot around 1 a.m. The shooting happened in Wheeler County, about 90 miles southeast of Macon and about 124 miles west of Savannah.
At a Saturday afternoon news conference, GBI spokeswoman Natalie Ammons said Harrison was survived by his wife and their 6-month-old baby. Ammons said Harrison also worked full-time with the Oconee Drug Task Force in nearby Dodge County and had been in law enforcement since 2018.
Authorities said a manhunt is underway for the suspected shooter, 43-year-old Damien Anthony Ferguson, who goes by “Luke.” A $17,500 reward is being offered for information leading to his capture.
Tributes poured in as news of Harrison’s death spread.
“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.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Alamo Police Department's Officer killed in the line of duty early this morning. We send our thoughts and prayers to the Officer's family, blood and blue. 🖤💙🖤— Georgia Department of Public Safety (@ga_dps) October 9, 2021
“May God continue to be with all who protect and serve,” Kemp wrote.
Early this morning, one of our law enforcement officials in Middle Georgia was killed in the line of duty. Our thoughts and prayers are with this officer’s family, friends, and colleagues at the Alamo Police Department.— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) October 9, 2021
May God continue to be with all who protect and serve.
At least five Georgia officers have been killed in the line of duty this year, but nearly two dozen more have died from COVID, according to the memorial page. Seven Georgia officers were killed in the line of duty in 2020.
Anyone with information about the shooting or Ferguson’s whereabouts is asked to call the GBI at 1-800-597-8477 or submit tips to the agency’s website.