• Search

Hero Down: Holly Springs PD Officer Joseph Burson Murdered On Traffic Stop

Holly Springs, GA – Holly Springs Police Officer Joseph Burson was killed in the line of duty when a suspect dragged him with his vehicle during a traffic stop late on Wednesday.

The incident began at about 11 p.m. on June 16 when Officer Burson and a shift supervisor stopped a vehicle for speeding near Harmony Lake Drive and Hickory Road, NBC News reported.

Officials said Officer Burson was dragged by the suspect’s vehicle but managed to fire a shot at the driver before he was killed, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The driver – later identified as 29-year-old Ansy Dolce – was fatally shot and then his vehicle careened off into a ditch.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Spokeswoman Nelly Miles said officers rendered medical aid on the scene to both men, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Officer Burson was transported to WellStar Kennestone Hospital where the rookie officer was pronounced dead.

Dolce was taken to Wellstar North Fulton where he was also pronounced dead, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

GBI investigators are reviewing video from the incident, NBC News reported.

Officials said that Officer Burson was wearing his bodycam when he was killed.

“There were a number of officers on scene,” Chief Keheley said. “Most all, if not all, had body cameras. It would depend on the time they arrived as to how much valuable footage there is. And yes, there was car camera footage as well.”

Officer Burson was the first Holly Spring Police Department officer to die in the line of duty.

He was the first officer to be killed in the line of duty in Cherokee County since 2003, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

But the young officer made quite an impression on his fellow officers and the community during his brief time on the police force.

Holly Springs police Chief Tommy Keheley described the 25-year-old Officer Burson as a model officer, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“If you had the ability to clone police officers, you would have wanted your officer to be Joe Burson,” Chief Keheley said. “He will be greatly missed.”

Officer Burson was sworn onto the Holly Springs police force on March 20, 2020, according to a Facebook posted to the department’s official page at the time.

Chief Keheley said the young officer went out of his way to get to know the community, and was frequently seen welcoming children into his police vehicle to play with the lights and ask questions, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“He was just a genuinely good individual,” the chief said. “It was a simple stop and the bottom line is, every bit of this could have been avoided.”

Officer Burson was awarded a Chief’s Commendation on April 9 for his performance during a dangerous and difficult traffic stop, according to a post on the department’s official Facebook page.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Holly Springs Police Officer Joseph Burson, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Officer Joseph Burson, your life mattered.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

View all articles
Written by Sandy Malone


Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."