Francisco Galarza: Bank robbery suspect who pointed gun at K9's head shot dead by Tucson cops
Warning: Graphic content, readers’ discretion advised
TUCSON, ARIZONA: A career criminal who was brought to the ground by a heroic K9 pointed a handgun at the police dog’s head. But as soon as the man held the gun at the dog's head, he was gunned down by the police. The Tucson police department released bodycam footage of a suspect who was running away but was brought to the ground by a K9 names Kiro. The suspect aimed his semi-automatic at Krio and was gunned down instantly.
Francisco Javier Galarza, 49, was wanted on a felony arrest warrant for home invasion and bank robbery. Galarza was spotted coming out of a Circle K convenience store when the officers instructed him to get down which is when he made a run for it. As seen in the bodycam footage shared by the Tucson police department, one officer can be heard yelling, "Runner, runner, runner, runner." The runaway suspect was chased down by Kiro who was released by the 15-year-old veteran, Officer Barry Peterson. Kiro went straight for Galarza's leg. However, he instantly whipped out a handgun and aimed it at Kiro's head. From both angles, Galarza can be seen pointing the gun at Kiro's head, putting the life of the K9 in imminent danger.
Once his weapon was spotted, one officer says, "Gun." It was at this moment that both the officers, in order to save their service dog's life, discharged their own guns, firing five bullets and killing Galarza in the process. Galarza was warned before the firing. Now, the footage is being reviewed by multiple agencies to determine whether the use of such deadly force was necessary or not. He was treated at the scene but was pronounced dead shortly after. No police officers or bystanders were injured. Tucson Police K9 shared the footage saying, "The following is a critical incident debrief involving our unit. It was released by the Pima Regional Critical Incident Team Friday."
News13 reports that Galarza is, in fact, a career criminal and has a lengthy history. In 1992, he was sentenced to three years in prison as part of the shock incarceration program. Two years later, he was arrested and convinced of drug possession and sentenced to four years in prison. He was later convicted of car theft in 2000. The next year, Galarza was convicted on six counts of robbery armed and armed robbery and received an 11-year sentence. After serving this lengthy sentence, he was again convicted of armed robbery again and sentenced to another 7.5 years.