According to officials, a Georgia teenager was shot dead by policemen after gunning down a police dog following an eight-hour chase.
Stephon Ford, 17, died Saturday, hours after the Jonesboro Police Department was called to investigate “suspicious activity” at a motel, where investigators claimed Ford and two other males were discovered with marijuana and a stockpile of guns.
While the other males were apprehended without incident, Ford ran into the woods, starting an eight-hour search, according to authorities during a news briefing.
The Clayton Police Department was among those assisting, sending out K-9 officer Waro, a German shepherd, to help find the kid.
Waro was able to locate the hidden culprit, who refused to surrender, prompting Ford to fire at cops with a revolver, striking the K-9 in the back.
The 2-year-old canine was brought to a nearby veterinary hospital, where he died as a result of his injuries. There were no other cops harmed in the exchange of gunfire.
According to 11 Alive, a SWAT unit joined a door-to-door hunt for Ford and found him hours later.
Ford refused to reveal officers his hands many times before being fatally shot at 2 a.m. Saturday, according to police.
“Ford had a handgun in his hand at the time he was shot,” the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the incident, stated.
“When the weapon was inspected, it appeared that it had malfunctioned while being fired,” according to the agency. It is unknown what caused the pistol to misfire.
In addition, Clayton Assistant Police Chief Bruce Parks said during a press conference:
“Overall, the situation is tragic.” “We despise it,” Clayton Assistant Police Chief Bruce Parks said at a press conference.
“We try to use all of our training and experience to find a simple solution, but it is not easy on us.” It’s difficult for the suspect’s family.”
The Jonesboro Police Department is also conducting its own independent investigation into the incident, which will be submitted for review to the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office.
“Our hearts go out to the Clayton County Police Department and K-9 Waro’s colleagues.” “His selfless service to our community will be remembered forever,” Jonesboro Police Chief Tommy Henderson III stated.
“I’d also like to express my condolences to Stephon Ford’s family.” This sad tragedy is heartbreaking and will surely have an effect on the lives of his loved ones.”
Waro, who is originally from Slovakia, began working for the county police department in March 2021.
He was expected to get a bullet and stab-proof vest shortly, thanks to a philanthropic contribution from Vested Interest of K-9s, Inc – but he never got to wear it in time to rescue him.
“K-9 Waro is being recognized for his heroism and selflessness as he gave his life protecting others,” stated his department. “He was much loved by many people and will be sorely missed.”
According to the Georgia Police K-9 Foundation, “Waro was shot and killed in the line of duty while attempting to apprehend a suspect.” “Thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.”