PAULDING COUNTY, GA (WGCL/CNN) - The sheriff said a deputy was following his training when he killed a police dog. That dog bit the deputy instead of the man deputies were chasing.
“The deputy pulled his service weapon and discharged it, striking and killing K9 Verro,” Sgt. Ashley Henson said.
K9 Verro had been a member of the Paulding County Sheriff’s Department for more than seven years. On Friday, he was shot and killed in the line of duty.
He and his partner, Cpl. Brandon Kilgore, were responding to a male suspect who had fled on foot.
Kilgore spotted the man jumping fences and left his car and K9 Verro behind to pursue the suspect.
Dog and handler form a special bond, but through the intense situation of sirens and radio, K9 Verro got hyped up.
He was able to fit through a partially opened section of his onboard kennel to the front cabin and out through a partially opened window. No officer knew the dog was out.
The sheriff’s department says during the hot summer months, K9s will only wear bulletproof vests that would identify them in dangerous situations, so the officer involved would have no idea the dog attacking him was part of his team.
K9 Verro’s training kicked into gear, and he attacked a fellow Paulding County deputy 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,” Henson said.
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,” Henson said.