Georgia deputy shoots and kills K9 during pursuit with suspect

PAULDING COUNTY, Georgia (WPVI) -- Authorities in Georgia say a deputy was following his training when he shot and killed a police dog.

"The deputy pulled his service weapon and discharged it, striking and killing K9 Verro," said Sgt. Ashley Henson from the Paulding County Sheriff's Office.

K9 Verro had been a member of the Paulding County Sheriff's Department for over seven years. On July 19, he was shot and killed in the line of duty.

The strange and unfortunate thing is, it was by one of his fellow deputies.

According to a report from WGCL-TV, Verro and his partner, Corporal Kilgore, were responding to a male suspect who had fled on foot.

Corporal Kilgore spotted the man jumping fences and left his car to pursue the suspect, leaving K9 Verro inside.

Dog and handler form a special bond and through the intense situation of sirens and radio, K9 Verro was hyped up and wanted to be with his handler. He was able to fit through a partially opened section of his onboard kennel, jump into the front cabin and out through a partially opened window.

No officer knew the dog was out.

K9 Verro's training kicked into gear and he attacked a fellow Paulding County Deputy who was also involved in the foot pursuit.

"He actually bit the deputy in the back of the leg, and as these dogs are trained, they're trained to bite and hold. And the deputy - not knowing the dog had been released - pulled his service weapon and discharged it, striking and killing K9 Verro," said Sgt. Henson.

The officer received puncture wounds and scratches to his leg.

The unfortunate incident has left everyone devastated.

"This has been heart wrenching on our agency because we are very family oriented tight knit agency," said Sgt. Henson.

The sheriff's department says during the hot summer months, K9s will only wear bullet proof vests that would idenfity them in dangerous situations, so the officer involved would have had no idea that the dog attacking him was part of his team.
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