Poking his head in Capt. Brad Rounds' office with a big grin, Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon wanted to thank the captain for giving him the opportunity to be on patrol.
“He wanted to serve his community. He wanted to do the job that he loved, and it cost him his life. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was out there doing what he loved to do. I knew that just by talking to him,” said Rounds, who said Dixon had been on patrol for roughly eight months.
Dixon, 28, was shot and killed Sunday night while pursuing burglary suspects on foot along Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville.
“To me, I think of my whole division that work for me … as my own kids. I feel like I’ve lost one of my own kids, and I think that’s how the rest of the division feels. We lost a family member, and that’s how we are. We’re very tight-knit because we depend on each other to watch each other’s back and be there when we need each other,” Rounds said.
Dixon had been a deputy with the Sheriff’s Office for three years, according to Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch. A 2018 post from the Sheriff's Office Facebook page includes a photo of Dixon.
Couch praised Dixon, who is survived by his wife, a 9-year-old son and a 4-month-old son, for his service and courage during a Monday morning press conference,
“He was an outstanding deputy,” Couch said.
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.
Hall County Solicitor General Stephanie Woodard described Dixon as a pleasant man who was “eager to learn all the subtle nuances of the law.”
While many young deputies working in the jail are excited about the prospect of being on patrol, Dixon was “even more excited than usual,” Rounds said.
“You could tell that he really loved his job out there, and he was just that type of guy who always had a smile on his face, always be excited to be at work and just ready to go out and save the world for us. That’s just the type of attitude he had all the time, and it was awesome to see that in such a young deputy like him,” he said.
Funeral services for Dixon will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 11, 2019, at Free Chapel Worship Center with the Rev. Thomas Jordan and the Rev. Beau Robson officiating. Interment will be in Memorial Park Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Memorial Park Funeral Home on Tuesday, July 9, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. and on Wednesday, July 10, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Dixon is the second officer in the state to be killed by gunfire while on duty in 2019, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Retired Gainesville Police Department Capt. Chad White said this was the first Hall County deputy shot and killed on duty in almost a century.
William Jefferson Dorsey was dispatched to Feb. 25, 1920, to the Gainesville Mill to break up a fight.
After finding the two men on Dean Street, Dorsey attempted to arrest them.
“While he was trying to make the arrest, the other (man) there pulled a handgun out and shot him,” White previously told The Times.
Dorsey was shot in the stomach and died the next day. He was buried at Lebanon United Methodist Church in Hall County.
Both men, John Brown and Otis Darnell, were convicted of murder. Brown was sentenced to 15-20 years, while triggerman Darnell was given a life sentence.