Georgia deputy shoots dead police dog that bit into him instead of on-the-run suspect
DALLAS, GEORGIA: A deputy in Georgia reportedly shot and killed a police dog that bit him instead of a suspect whom authorities had been chasing, the county sheriff's department said.
The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on Monday, saying that deputies were responding to a domestic dispute in Dallas on Friday when the suspect ran off. According to the statement, Cpl. Brandon Kilgore saw the suspect jumping over fences and running through yards in an attempt to get away.
The deputy then stopped his patrol car, got out and started running after the suspect, leaving his partner K-9 Verro behind as the departmental criteria to deploy the dog had not been met.
However, Verro, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, was determined to assist his handler as he squeezed out of the kennel door and inched his way out of the patrol vehicle, a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, through a window that was partially down, according to the New York Post.
Reports state that no deputies were aware that Verro was on the loose, and after a deputy spotted him, he sprinted away from the dog, unaware that he was a police dog. Verro, without Kilgore's direction, could not tell the difference between deputies and suspects, so he latched onto the back of the deputy's leg. The dog was following his training to bite and hold until commanded to release.
Since the deputy could not free his leg from Verro, he followed his training and shot the dog with his service weapon, killing him in the process.
Authorities, in a statement, said: "It wasn’t until a short time later that other Deputies realized that the deceased animal was K-9 Verro. Unfortunately, it was too late for K-9 Verro and he passed away on the scene."
Police said that the bitten deputy had "some injuries" but he was recovering.
Sheriff Gary Gulledge, in a statement, said: "Being a former K-9 handler, I know how special the bond is between a handler and his dog. The emotional grief everyone is going through, including the Deputy who was bitten, has been overwhelming. Please keep Corporal Kilgore, his family, the K-9 Unit, our injured Deputy, and the Sheriff’s Office in your prayers as we all go through this difficult time.”