Officer murdered in the line of duty was only 25 years old – was able to take out his killer before dying


HOLLY SPRINGS, GA – In an update to a previous report from us at Law Enforcement Today, officials have identified the officer killed during a traffic stop earlier in June as Holly Springs Police Officer Joseph Burson. 

Officer Burson is reportedly the first Holly Springs Police officer to be killed in the line of duty

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation held a news conference on the afternoon of June 17th to provide further details about the traffic stop that turned fatal during the evening of June 16th. 

Officials say that 25-year-old Officer Burson had attempted to conduct a traffic stop for speeding at approximately 11:00 p.m. on June 16th.

The driver of the vehicle, identified as 29-year-old Ansy Dolce, had reportedly dragged the officer with his vehicle during the stop, which led to Officer Burson sustaining fatal injuries. 

However, officials say that Officer Burson was able to open fire on the suspect during the incident, fatally wounding Dolce, with the driver careening off the road and into a ditch after being shot.

During the press conference on June 17th, Holly Springs Police Chief Tommy Keheley had described Officer Burson as being an ideal officer: 

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

The 25-year-old officer had only been with the department for slightly over a year before his passing, joining the Holly Springs Police Department in January of 2020.

Officer Burson’s death has clearly shaken some in the community.

Local Holly Springs resident Wanda Winant, who works at the Exxon station on Holly Springs Parkway (considered to be the main gas station in the town), described the town as one of the “safest places” to reside in the state: 

“This is one of the safest places to live. I don’t even lock my doors, my car, nothing, you know? When something like this happens, it’s just sad.”

Police Chief Keheley finds the officer’s death truly saddening, noting that the stop was nothing more than a speeding violation that shouldn’t have resulted in Officer Burson’s murder: 

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

Outside of being a police officer, Officer Burson also was the drummer of the local hard rock band Rusted Soul. On the band’s Facebook page, they shared their grief over the loss of their friend and bandmate: 

“The RUSTED SOUL Band & Their Families regretfully inform everyone that , last night , our long term Drummer, Friend and Brother, Joe Burson was killed in the line of Duty in his job as a Holly Springs Police Officer. He leaves behind a wife & all of us who Love him . Please pray for his Family’s strength, at this time , and understand with patience our time to grieve this passing. Viewing and Funeral Arrangements will be [released] here only by the immediate Family’s advance approval.”

GBI Assistant Director John Melvin shared his condolences on Facebook, noting that he and Officer Burson attended the Police Academy together, highlighting the bond that was forged between them and their class: 

“I lost a good friend today. It hurts more than I can express.”

“Joe Burson and I graduated the Police Academy together. He is in the picture below on the second row, third from the right. In our ten weeks together, the cadets of Session 8 formed a deep bond and lasting friendships with each other.”
“Joe was instrumental in this because he was a fundamentally good man. He gave his best. He cared about his classmates. He loved his family.
I am indebted to Joe.”
“When I struggled with some aspect of physical training, Joe would offer words of encouragement or say just the right joke to get me laughing. He did that for all of us in Session 8. Just like in the picture, Joe was at the center and heart of who we were as a class.”

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As mentioned earlier, we at Law Enforcement Today reported on the fatal incident as news was first breaking. 

Here’s our original report from June 17th.


HOLLY SPRINGS, GA – According to officials, a Holly Springs Police officer was reportedly killed during a traffic stop on June 17th after being dragged by the suspect’s vehicle involved

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation also confirmed that the suspect involved in the unnamed officer’s death was fatally shot during the incident by another officer. 


Few details have been shared thus far regarding the incident that occurred during the morning of June 17th, as the GBI are still actively gathering details and evidence relating to the incident. 

The GBI shared on Twitter that they were requested to lead the investigation by the Holly Springs Police Department and only shared the incident stemmed from a traffic stop: 

“The GBI is investigating an officer involved shooting at the request of the Holly Springs Police Department. A Holly Springs Police Officer has died. A male suspect has died.”

“The incident started as a traffic stop. At this point, we are still working to gather details and will provide updates as we learn more.”

There were initial reports suggesting that the slain officer was killed by gunfire, however, officials clarified that the officer was killed as a result of being dragged by the suspect’s vehicle. 

Updates regarding the investigation are slated to be shared later on in the afternoon of June 17th, according to the GBI. 

Police officials have not yet publicly named the fallen officer, as Holly Springs Police noted in a statement that they’re still “in the process of notifying the officer’s family members.”

The deceased suspect was identified as 29-year-old Ansy Dolce. No details regarding the purpose of the original traffic stop have been shared as of this writing. 

In a notice shared by the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, the public was urged to avoid a stretch of Hickory Road while investigators work the scene: 

“Hickory Rd.  from New Light Rd. to Little Rd is closed for an active police investigation. That stretch of Hickory Road will likely remain closed throughout the morning. Please avoid that area if possible.”

This is an ongoing investigation. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case. 

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