Breaking News
More () »

Bodycam, dashcam video show events that led to Georgia officer's death

Officer Joe Burson was killed in June of 2021 during a traffic stop. The man officers pulled over also died after being shot during the incident.

HOLLY SPRINGS, Ga. — The investigation into a traffic stop from June of 2021 that left a Holly Springs Police officer and a suspect dead is now closed -- and investigators said the officer's use of deadly force was justified.

The GBI sent 11Alive a 251-page investigation summary along with body and dash camera video from the incident. 

During the incident 25-year-old officer Joe Burson was killed, 29-year-old Ansy Dolce, the man police pulled over, also died after being shot by Burson during a struggle.

The report includes a letter from the Cherokee County District Attorney calling Burson's actions justified and stating if Dolce would have lived murder charges would have been filed against him. 

In the videos 11Alive received, Dolce can be seen stepping out of his car along Hickory Road.

The GBI's report details late in the evening of June 15 Dolce was pulled over by Holly Springs Police Sergeant Andrew Drake for driving 72-miles per hour in a 40-mile per hour zone. Burson arrived to provide backup.

Also in the report are details of Dolce's past.

He is described as a mixed martial arts fighter with a criminal history and attached court records list him as a confirmed member of the Sex Money Murder gang, a subset of the larger Bloods gang.

According to U.S. Marshals interviewed by the GBI and quoted in the report, Dolce was out of prison on parole in New York for robbery and attempted robbery convictions, and he had an open domestic violence case involving his then-wife in Illinois.

Twenty months before the traffic stop in Holly Springs, the GBI report details Dolce removing a department of corrections ordered GPS monitor, and U.S. Marshals had tracked and attempted to take Dolce back into custody in New York, Illinois and Missouri.

The week before the traffic stop, Marshals waited outside his mother's house near Holly Springs, where it was believed he might be staying. 

Also in the report, Dolce is described as saying during the traffic stop that he didn't have a driver's license on him and then provided his brother's name along with a date of birth instead of his own.

Drake walked back to his squad car to check out the name and date of birth.

At that time, Burson's conversation with Dolce was recorded by his body camera. Dolce asks if he can call his mother or an attorney. Burson tells him he can't make a call at that time.

"Why do you need a lawyer if what you're telling us is true?" Burson said.

"Because you guys are about to arrest me," Dolce replies.

"Why?" Burson asked.

"I know the drill," Dolce said.

"Sorry?" Burson then asked.

"I know the drill. You said you smelled pot. So you're going to search the car," Dolce said.

The GBI report details Drake smelling a strong odor of what he suspected to be marijuana in Dolce's car. Investigators later found several bags with marijuana on the labels and a canister filled with a leafy green substance.

"Is there pot in there?" Burson asked.

Dolce is seen on the video nodding his head up and down.

"How much?" Burson inquired.

"I'll show you," Dolce said and then started walking toward his car.

Burson replies "No," and walks in front of Dolce to cut him off.

Drake then exits his car, walks up behind Dolce, and attempts to put him in handcuffs.

The video shows him pulling away and running back into his car. 

During a struggle with both officers, they tased Dolce as he was in the driver's seat and then drives off with Burson still inside the car.

"He's got Burson the car! He's got Burson in the car!" Drake is heard yelling into the radio. Moments later he's heard yelling, "Shots fired! Shots fired!"

The report details Dolce driving approximately 1,000 feet down the road before hitting a guardrail and crashing in the ditch. 

During that time, Burson shot Dolce multiple times while also receiving extensive injuries.

Burson was taken to the hospital, but the GBI report mentions he most likely died at the scene of the crash. Dolce was taken to a different hospital where he later died from his injuries sustained during the shooting.

Once the GBI completed its investigation, it sent its files to Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace for review.

In a letter responding to the GBI she wrote:

"Based on the information contained in your case file and my review of this case file, there is no evidence of criminal conduct on behalf of Officer Joseph Burson as the shooting of Mr. Dolce was justified under Georgia law. Had Mr. Dolce survived, this office would have pursued a prosecution against him for murder as well as other charges."

Before You Leave, Check This Out