McRae-Helena Police Department - PHOTO: Authorities said Alamo Police Officer Dylan Harrison, seen here in an undated picture with his family, was fatally shot in the early morning hours of Oct. 9, 2021.

A manhunt is underway in central Georgia after an officer was gunned down outside his police department early Saturday, authorities said.Dylan Harrison, 26, of Dudley, Georgia, was working his first shift as a part-time officer with the Alamo Police Department in Wheeler County when he was fatally shot around 1 a.m. Saturday, police said.

A suspect in the shooting, 43-year-old Damien Anthony Ferguson of Alamo, remains at-large, authorities said. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is offering a $17,500 reward for information that leads to his arrest."At this time, this investigation is very active," Natalie Ammons, GBI's deputy director for public and governmental affairs, said during a press briefing Saturday afternoon. "The most important thing is to take the suspect into custody."MORE: 'Alarming' increase in law enforcement officers killed this yearGBI has issued a "blue alert," a public safety alert indicating the search for a suspect who's allegedly killed or injured an officer and hasn't been apprehended, for Ferguson.

Harrison appears to be at least the fifth Georgia officer killed in the line of duty this year, according to Officer Down Memorial Page , which tracks law enforcement deaths.He was also a full-time agent with the Oconee Drug Task Force in Eastman, Georgia, and has been in law enforcement since 2018. He leaves behind his wife and 6-month-old baby.MORE: 'Dangerous times': 4 federal agents shot this weekFerguson served eight years in prison after being convicted in Wheeler County of charges including aggravated assault of a peace officer, Georgia Department of Corrections records show. He was released in 2006.Authorities said Ferguson, aka Luke Ferguson, is Black, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, and about 215 pounds, with brown eyes and short black hair.Anyone with information on his whereabouts or the shooting investigation can send an anonymous tip by calling 1-800-597-8477 or visiting the GBI website .

ABC News' Elwyn Lopez contributed to this report.

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