Lilburn police announced Tuesday night that Boaz Anthony Fordyce, 37, was arrested for the murder of JD Ferguson, 25.
They gave credit for the arrest to tireless hours of work by investigators and more than 100 tip calls and emails, including a Crime Stoppers tip that named Fordyce as a suspect.
"We're still trying to figure out exactly what it was that caused him to react so violently to the arrest for shoplifting," said Capt. Thomas Bardugon with the Lilburn Police Department.
Police said Fordyce was trying to haul three TVs out of a Walmart on Lawrenceville Highway Sunday night when the loss prevention officer stopped him.
Investigators said the confrontation ended with Ferguson, a father of three, fatally wounded. Police said Fordyce is an unlikely suspect.
"He was someone we would not expect to have committed this crime. He does not have a history of criminal history to speak of, is not on probation or parole," Bardugon said.
Channel 2’s Carl Willis dug into Fordyce’s past and found a charge of military desertion back in 2003, but no violent crimes appeared on his record.
Fordyce was taken in Tuesday afternoon with the help of DeKalb County police.
“Directly following some additional leads in Doraville when they realize(d) he was in a business not too far from them," Bardugon said.
Investigators told Willis that Fordyce was not armed and was arrested without incident, but police said there is still work to be done after the arrest.
Surveillance video inside the store shows the suspect pushing a cart out of the store with three TVs. Officers said when Ferguson confronted him about not paying for the flat-screen TVs, the man pulled a gun and shot him in the stomach.
"There are some people who we had contact with after the incident occurred, so we want to talk to them and see what, if anything, he may have said to them," Bardugon said.
Fordyce is currently in the Gwinnett County Detention Center and is charged with one count of murder, aggravated assault and felony theft by shoplifting.
Police have not said when Fordyce's first court appearance is expected.
Ferguson's family released a statement late Tuesday night saying:
"Tiana Ferguson and her family would like everyone to know that the arrest of the suspect has been bittersweet for them. While they are happy that a suspect has been apprehended, they are saddened by the fact that this arrest will in no way bring JD back and the fact that now 2 men have been taken away from their families. Though they understand that the suspect was the cause of this situation, they are deeply saddened by the ripple effects of his actions on both his family and theirs just the same.
"The Ferguson family would like to continue to focus on preparations for JD's celebration of life service and recovering from their tragic loss.
"Thank you for respecting the family and being sensitive to their feelings and emotions during this difficult time."
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