In a video message to the community Tuesday afternoon, Lilburn Mayor Johnny Crist vowed that city police would find the man who killed a young Walmart security guard Sunday night.
By then, investigators already had a suspect in handcuffs.
Boaz Anthony Fordyce, 37, of a Duluth address, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with felony murder in the death of Jaseramie Dion “JD” Ferguson, police said. They said numerous tips from the public led authorities to Fordyce, who was arrested at a DeKalb County business.
Ferguson, 25 and the father of three, was working his job as a Walmart security guard Sunday night when he confronted a man trying to steal three flat-screen televisions, according to police. When Ferguson intervened, the alleged shoplifter grabbed a gun and fired. Ferguson was shot and died after being taken to Gwinnett Medical Center.
Store surveillance cameras captured images of the suspect, and once those pictures were published on ajc.com and aired on television, tipsters began calling police. The suspect, later identified as Fordyce, was seen driving away from the store in an older sedan after the shooting Sunday and remained on the loose until around 1 p.m. Tuesday, when he was found.
Fordyce was also charged with one count of aggravated assault and one count of felony theft by shoplifting. He was booked into the Gwinnett jail shortly after 5 p.m.
The arrest came as a relief to Ferguson’s family and friends. A close friend and pastor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late Tuesday that faith had helped guide the family since Ferguson’s death.
“JD was a selfless person who would do anything for anyone,” Earl West said. “My reaction to this arrest is a feeling of relief and also prayer that the man who did this would come to know Jesus Christ so that this and many other sins will be forgiven.”
Ferguson had worked for Walmart for about a year and at the Lawrenceville Highway store for seven months, his wife, Tiana, said Monday. He wanted to be a police officer. But in the meantime, Ferguson was working as a security guard to support his family, including his 1-year-old son, Jordan, and daughters Aryana, 3, and 3-month-old Ava.
On Monday, a Go Fund Me page was created to assist the Ferguson family with funeral arrangements and other costs. By Tuesday evening, the fund had raised nearly $12,000.
On her Facebook page, Tiana Ferguson thanked those who have prayed and supported her family since her husband’s death. She ended her note with a promise to him.
“Jd i love you and i miss you and I’m going to always make sure your children know what kind of man you were to me, them, and everyone else,” she wrote.
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