Ind. K-9 fatally shot pursuing suspect through woods
K-9 Harlej stopped a DUI suspect who had led police on a vehicle pursuit
FISHERS, Ind. — A K-9 in Indiana was shot dead Wednesday while tracking a suspected impaired driver who tried to evade police in the woods.
According to a Fishers Police Department news release, K-9 Harlej was assisting in the manhunt for Richard Garrett Jr., who had run from his vehicle after a brief vehicle pursuit. Harlej’s handler, Officer Jarred Koopman, ordered Garrett to surrender, then deployed Harlej when Garrett Jr. did not stop.
The Indianapolis Star reports police found Garrett Jr. after several hours of searching. He had suffered a leg injury believed to be from a dog bite. Officers then found Harlej dead of a gunshot wound.
“It is my belief he saved lives last night, and we’re thankful for his sacrifice,” Chief Ed Gebhart said of Harlej during a press conference, Fox 13 reports.
Garrett is facing at least 10 charges, including striking a law enforcement animal, criminal recklessness and resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, according to Fox 13.
Police set up a memorial for Harlej in the department’s lobby.