Cherokee County

Bandmates remember fallen Holly Springs officer as talented drummer, ‘brother’

HOLLY SPRINGS, Ga. — The Holly Springs community will honor a fallen police officer with a candlelight vigil Friday night.

Officer Joe Burson, 24, was killed Thursday when a driver dragged him during a traffic stop. Burson shot and killed the suspect during the incident.

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Channel 2′s Chris Jose was in Cherokee County, where friends said Burson was not just an officer, but a talented drummer who played in a band called Rusted Soul.

His bandmates called him the best drummer in Atlanta and said he was like a brother to them.

“He was like my brother, man, he did everything for me,” guitar player Kyle Lake said. “I didn’t know Joe as Officer Joe. I knew him not just as a bandmate or a husband. I knew him as a brother.”


“Everything about Joe is loving. He loves his wife. He loves his job. He loves his music,” friend Zach Crider said.

For Burson’s band of brothers, the loss cuts deep.

“It hurts that much because we’re all that close,” bandmate John Ward said. “And the loss is so painful.”

Jose also learned the young officer had a big impact on students at a local school.

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Students at Lyndon Academy made a thin blue line flag for Burson, decorated with messages of hope. The students said they love police officers and are honored by their bravery and sacrifice.

“It’s heartbreaking for my little ones to realize that the guy who was there saying hello won’t be in the fall,” teacher Lorena Morgan said.

On Friday, Woodstock officers came to Holly Springs to pay their respects. Inside police headquarters is a growing memorial for Burson.

The vigil is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Barrett Park in Holly Springs.