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Man faces murder charge after Georgia deputy is gunned down

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(Photo: Hall County Sheriff’s Office)

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Law officers charged one man with murder and searched for other suspects Monday after a Georgia sheriff’s deputy was killed in a late-night shootout northeast of Atlanta.

Hall County Deputy Nicholas Dixon, 28, was killed exchanging gunfire with people who crashed a stolen car Sunday night in Gainesville, Sheriff Gerald Crouch said at a Monday news conference.

Hector Garcia faces a charge of felony murder, as he is believed to be the shooter, the sheriff said. Garcia was wounded in the torso and head and has been hospitalized.

A second suspect was apprehended by a police dog, the sheriff said. Officers were still searching Monday for two additional suspects they consider armed and dangerous.

The slain deputy had been with the department for three years and leaves behind a wife and two young children, the sheriff said.

Authorities said the ordeal began with a series of weekend car break-ins and burglaries in Gainesville, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Atlanta. Dixon was among several who were trying to stop a stolen vehicle that’s believed to have been involved in the break-ins. The stolen vehicle crashed and several occupants began running before the shooting began, authorities said.

Georgia state troopers and Gainesville and Gwinnett County police have joined the search.

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