All four suspects wanted in connection with the shooting death of a sheriff’s deputy Sunday evening, July 7, have been taken into custody, authorities said.
Hall County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Blane Dixon, 28, was attempting to stop a stolen car when he was shot by one of the suspects in the area of Jesse Jewell Parkway and Highland Avenue around 11 p.m. Sunday, according to Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch.
Deputy Dixon was a husband and a father to a 9-year-old son and a 4-month-old son, authorities said.
“Such a young man with such a young family. We will make sure that we take care of his family,” the sheriff said.
@MaitlandPolice send prayers and condolences to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office (Georgia) and the family of the deputy who was killed in the line of duty late yesterday evening. pic.twitter.com/EMDoxWWB8Z
— Maitland Police Department (@MaitlandPolice) July 8, 2019
The sheriff’s department said the man driving the stolen vehicle, identified as Hector Garcia, sped off and eventually wrecked in a neighborhood. Several suspects inside the car ran off.
Dixon pursued and found Garcia. That’s when Garcia opened fire, striking Dixon with one round below his ballistic vest. Dixon was transported in a patrol car to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where he later died.
One of the other responding deputies opened fire and Garcia was shot. His condition is unknown but he was taken to the medical center for treatment. Officials have taken out an arrest warrant for felony murder.
“He was out there in the darkness while most of us slept,” Couch said of Dixon. “It was his job and he loved doing it.”
The second suspect in the vehicle was found hiding under a house not far from the shooting scene and was arrested.
The sheriff’s office said the final two suspects were taken into custody on Monday.
All four suspects wanted in connection with the Sunday night line of duty death of Hall County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicolas Dixon are in custody. Further details will be forthcoming as they’re available. #HCSOLODD #ODMP pic.twitter.com/dEmMhzGEU7
— Hall County Sheriff (@HallCountySO) July 8, 2019
Sheriff Couch said Dixon had been with the department for three years and was a “beloved member” of the sheriff’s office of Hall County and “an outstanding deputy.”
“This is more than just a job—it is a passion. Not everyone can do this job. It takes a servant’s heart,” Couch said. “And they have to be able to realize that this job is inherently dangerous, and they may not come back home.”