Details on arrest, motive in suspect’s deadly ambush of officer

Damien "Luke" Ferguson, 43, was arrested in the deadly shooting of a Middle Georgia officer outside a police station.

Credit: Georgia Bureau of Investigation

Credit: Georgia Bureau of Investigation

Damien "Luke" Ferguson, 43, was arrested in the deadly shooting of a Middle Georgia officer outside a police station.

A suspect was captured a day after a Middle Georgia police officer was shot and killed outside of the police station where he worked, according to the GBI.

Damien Anthony Ferguson, who was sought in connection with the death of 26-year-old Dylan Harrison, was taken into custody shortly before 2:30 p.m. Sunday, GBI spokeswoman Natalie Ammons said at a Sunday evening news conference.

Ferguson, who was arrested at his home in Alamo, was charged with murder in addition to aggravated stalking related to a previous domestic incident, Ammons said. He is being held at the Laurens County Jail in Dublin.

Police had been searching for Ferguson since the officer was gunned down outside the Alamo Police Department about 1 a.m. Saturday, officials said. Harrison was working his first shift as a part-time officer with the department at the time.

Harrison was also a full-time Oconee Drug Task Force agent in nearby Dodge County.

He 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, officials said.

At least five Georgia officers have been killed while on the job this year, but nearly two dozen more have died from COVID, according to the page. Seven Georgia officers were killed in the line of duty in 2020.

Alamo police Officer Dylan Harrison, 26, was shot and killed Saturday morning during his first shift.

Credit: GBI

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Credit: GBI

Harrison, who lived in Laurens County, is survived by his wife and their 6-month-old son, officials said.

At Sunday’s news conference, GBI Special Agent Lindsey Wilkes said the ambush on Harrison stemmed from the Friday night arrest of another man.

Harrison was on duty when he made contact with a man for a traffic violation in the parking lot of the Circle K across the street from the Alamo Police Department. The officer asked the man for his name and identification and the man refused, Wilkes said. The man got into a verbal fight with Harrison, which escalated to the man pushing the officer.

When Harrison attempted to place the man under arrest, the man did not comply and the officer fired his Taser. The man was arrested and taken to the Wheeler County Jail.

Wilkes said, “The man arrested is a known associate of Damien Ferguson. It is believed that the ambush-style attack on Officer Harrison was retaliation for the incident and arrest of the man on Friday night at the Circle K.”

The name of the man arrested Friday night was not released.

After the shooting, the GBI issued a “Blue Alert” for Ferguson and offered a $17,500 reward for the 43-year-old man’s capture. Such alerts are issued when a suspect accused of killing or seriously injuring a law enforcement officer remains at large.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety said in a tweet Sunday that Ferguson was taken into custody “without incident” less than one mile from the site of the shooting.

Ferguson spent more than seven years in prison after being convicted of charges including theft by taking and aggravated assault on an officer in Wheeler County. He was released from the Coffee Correctional Facility in August 2006, Georgia Department of Corrections records show.