Gainesville, GA – The gunman accused of fatally shooting Hall County Deputy Nicholas Dixon during a foot pursuit on Sunday night had been released from jail just days before the deputy’s murder.
Hector Garcia-Solis, 17, was arrested on June 27 on charges of driving with a suspended license, possession of an open container, driving under the influence of alcohol, felony obstruction of an officer, and striking a fixed object, WXIA reported.
He was released from jail on July 2, just five days before Deputy Dixon was murdered in the line of duty.
Police said that after his release, Garcia-Solis and three accomplices committed multiple burglaries and vehicle thefts in the area, including one that involved the theft of a large number of firearms, WAGA reported.
Just after 11 p.m. on Sunday, Deputy Dixon spotted a vehicle that had been reported as stolen, and attempted to pull the car over.
The driver, later identified as Garcia-Solis, refused to stop and eventually crashed, at which point four occupants took off on foot.
“Deputy Dixon pursued and located one of the suspects” behind a residence, and ordered him to show his hands, Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said during a press conference late Monday morning.
That suspect was later identified as Garcia-Solis.
“The offender disappeared briefly back behind a residence, and then suddenly reappeared and opened fire,” Sheriff Couch said.
One of the rounds struck the 28-year-old deputy in the abdomen, just below his vest.
Another deputy returned fire, striking Garcia-Solis multiple times.
Garcia-Solis was transported to a local hospital with multiple gunshot wounds to his torso and at least one wound to the head.
According to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), the gunman’s wounds were not believed to be life-threatening as of late Monday afternoon, WAGA reported.
Deputy Dixon was rushed to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in a patrol car within minutes, and medical personnel desperately tried to save his life, Sheriff Couch said.
“It is with great sadness that I must report this morning that one of our deputies was killed in the line of duty,” the sheriff told reporters.
Deputies and a K9 unit tracked a second suspect, 17-year-old Brayan Omar Cruz, to a nearby residence, and found him hiding underneath a house.
London Clements, 17, was arrested at his home in Flowery Branch, and Eric Edgardo Velazquez, 17, was arrested at a residence in north Hall County, WAGA reported.
All four teens have been charged with felony murder.
Clements, Cruz, and Velazquez have also been charged with party to a crime.
Deputy Dixon joined HCSO as a detention deputy three years ago, and graduated from the law enforcement academy in June of 2018, according to Sheriff Couch.
He leaves behind his wife, Stephanie, and his sons, nine-year-old Caden and three-month-old Colt Justice.
"He was the best dad there was," Stephanie told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Deputy Dixon will be laid to rest on Thursday, according to WAGA.