Joe Burson Wiki – Joe Burson Bio
Joe Burson is the first Holly Springs police officer to die in the line of duty and the fourth police officer killed in Georgia this year. He was the first law enforcement officer to die on the job in Cherokee County since August 2, 2003, when Deputy Sheriff Timothy Wayne Woodard died in an accident. He was 26 years old.
Keheley said Burson went out of his way to get to know the community, often accepting children in his patrol car, answering their questions and letting them turn on the lights on his cruiser.
“He was a really good person,” the chief said of the young officer. “It was a simple stop and as a result, every bit of it could have been avoided.”
Incident Detail & Killed
The GBI said Burson was killed after being dragged by a vehicle during a traffic stop late Wednesday. Authorities said the driver of the vehicle, 29-year-old Ansy Dolce, was shot dead by a police officer before the vehicle went off the road and fell into a ditch.
At a dismal press conference Thursday afternoon, Holly Springs police chief Tommy Keheley described Burson as an exemplary officer. He had been working in the department for about a year and a half.
“If you had the ability to clone police officers, you would want your officer to be Joe Burson,” said Keheley, speaking to the wife of the officer who was killed late Wednesday. “He will be greatly missed.”
He described it as the worst day of any police chief’s job.
Burson joined the Holly Springs Police Department in January 2020 and was officially sworn in two months after completing his training, according to the records. This was his first law enforcement post.
He was killed shortly after 11 o’clock. GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles said after officers stopped Dolce for speeding in the Harmony Lake Drive and Hickory Road area. Burson was dragged into Hickory Road during the stop, but managed to shoot at the suspect.
The teams that arrived at the scene helped both people, but these efforts were inconclusive. Authorities announced that Burson died at WellStar Kennestone Hospital and Dolce died at Wellstar North Fulton.
Wanda Winant was devastated by the news that shook the community of nearly 10,000, located between larger cities such as Woodstock and Canton.
“This is one of the safest places to live,” said Winant, who works at the Exxon station on Holly Springs Parkway, the town’s main gas station. “I don’t even lock my doors, my car, anything, you know? When that happens, it’s just sad.”
Winant said she had worked at the gas station for five years and visited police officers every night before the shift started. Often times, an officer would park across the street at the church and stand guard at closing time, she said.
“They’re all going in. They say, ‘Hello, I’m on watch tonight’. “Okay, I’ll be watching you.’ And that means a lot to me.”
On Thursday afternoon, sullen police officers and firefighters stopped just outside the police station, got out of their vehicles, and drew attention. Some later placed a blue wreath next to the monument outside.
J.R. from Canton and Ramania McDonald watched the scene unfold.
A retired US Army sergeant, J.R. “It was a show of respect,” McDonald said. “His name will live on forever. Our district is standing as it should be,” he said.
McDonald remembers meeting Burson at a local gas station.
“It reminds you of a young soldier in the army,” he said. “You see a lot of yourself in these people because it was us once. And it was just full of life.”