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Hall Sheriff's Office: Alleged shooter in deputy's death in jail a week ago
4 suspects, all 17 years old, now in custody
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Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch holds a press conference Monday, July 8, 2019, at the Hall County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters concerning the in line of duty death of Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon Sunday night in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

Hector Garcia-Solis, the teenage murder suspect authorities say was the shooter in the death of Hall County deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon, was in jail as recently as a week ago, according to jail records and a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

Dixon, 28, was shot and killed Sunday night while pursuing burglary suspects on foot along Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville. 

Garcia-Solis, 17, was also shot while exchanging gunfire with Dixon and another deputy in the area of Highland Avenue, according to the Sheriff’s Office. 

Garcia-Solis, shot multiple times by deputies, was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Officials said earlier Monday that he was in critical condition, but Sheriff's Office spokesman Derreck Booth said around 6 p.m. that Garcia-Solis was expected to survive.

Hector Garcia-Solis
Hector Garcia-Solis

A second suspect, Brayan Omar Cruz, 17, was tracked by dogs to another residence in the area and taken into custody.

Two other suspects were found at residences off of Cleveland Highway in North Hall and Cresthill Drive in Flowery Branch. They were, respectively, Eric Edgardo Velazquez, 17, and London Clements, 17.

Garcia-Solis faces a charge of felony murder, while the other three suspects are facing charges of party to a crime and felony murder.

Officials said all suspects in the shooting death are now in custody. Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said the suspects involved in the shooting are local and have connections in the area.

Booth said Garcia-Solis had been arrested June 27 and released July 2 on charges related to DUI.

The incident Sunday began when officers attempted to pull over a car suspected to have been used in several home and vehicle burglaries over the weekend, including a "large number of firearms," said Couch. The car fled, crashed and its occupants fled on foot and were pursued by deputies.

"After refusing to follow Deputy Dixon's verbal commands to show his hands, the offender disappeared briefly back behind the residence and did suddenly reappear and open fire. Deputy Dixon was struck by one round below his ballistic vest as he returned fire," Couch said.

Dixon was taken by patrol car to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where he died. The other deputy was involved in the shooting was uninjured. He has been placed on administrative leave, Couch said, which is routine for officer-involved shootings. 

The GBI is investigating the incident.

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Denise Chamberlain visits Highland Avenue Monday, July 8, 2019, to check on her sister who lives near where Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents work the scene after a Hall County deputy was shot late Sunday night. - photo by Scott Rogers

When Denise Chamberlain, who was with her sister on Highland Avenue, woke up around 6 a.m. Monday, she saw police officers all over the neighborhood.

“I told my sister before I (went) to bed, ‘Oh my God, they started back again with the firecrackers,’” she said describing what she heard after 11 p.m. Sunday.

Retired Gainesville Police Department Capt. Chad White said this was the first Hall County deputy shot and killed on duty in almost a century.

Times staff Nick Bowman contributed to this report.

How to help

Hall County Sheriff’s Office has opened a fund for the Dixon family at Peach State Bank and Trust. Donations can be dropped off at 325 Washington St., Gainesville, or mailed to Peach State Bank and Trust, P.O. Box 290, Gainesville, GA 30503-9835.  Checks should be made payable to the Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon Memorial Fund. A collection box is also available in the lobby for notes, cards and other gestures. Businesses and other organizations are also donating services and proceeds.

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Bullet holes can be seen in a chair on the front porch of a house off Highland Avenue in Gainesville where officials say a Hall County Sheriff's deputy was killed during a gunfight with a burglary suspect July 7. - photo by Nate McCullough
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Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents works the scene of a Hall County deputy shooting Monday, July 8, 2019, along Highland Avenue. A Hall County deputy was shot and killed while pursuing burglary suspects on foot along Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers
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