Investigators say they believe the gun used to kill a Hall County sheriff’s deputy late Sunday evening was stolen the previous day from a Gainesville pawn shop.
The Hall sheriff’s office said at least 25 guns were taken in the brazen break-in. The thieves used a rope connected to a pick-up truck to force open the doors of the Double Deuce pawn shop.
Hector Garcia-Solis, Brayan Omar Cruz, Eric Edgardo Velazquez and London Clements are suspected in the break-in. The 17-year-olds face felony murder charges for the killing of Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon, 28.
The patrol officer, who leaves behind a wife and two young boys, was among the deputies in pursuit of the teens after spotting them in a stolen car they believe was involved in the pawn shop theft. The suspects crashed the vehicle and fled on foot as they exchanged gunfire with law enforcement.
Hall Sheriff Gerald Couch said Garcia-Solis fired the fatal shot that killed Dixon. The teen suspect was shot multiple times in return and remains hospitalized but it expected to survive his injuries.
Garcia-Solis had just gotten out of jail last Wednesday after he was arrested and charged on June 27 with DUI, driving on a suspended license, felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer, violating the open container law and striking a fixed object.
The four teens are United States citizens; Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution their office has been flooded with questions about the suspects’ legal status.
Dixon will be laid to rest Thursday morning in Gainesville. Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered flags be lowered to half-staff at the state Capitol and at all Hall County government buildings in honor of the fallen deputy.
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