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K9 Killed; Credited With Finding Suspect, Saving Officers

K9 Killed; Credited With Finding Suspect, Saving Officers

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 8: An Amtrak Police K9 sits on the platform near the Acela Express trains during 'Operation Railsafe' at Union Station October 8, 2010 in Washington, DC. [AP]

Florida Times Union

December 28, 2010

JACKSONVILLE – Jacksonville police fatally shot a robbery suspect Monday night in a gun battle on the Westside that also claimed the life of a police dog.

It was unclear if the suspect shot Sarge or if the dog was caught in an exchange of gunfire.

Chief John Hartley did not identify the man who was killed. He said the man was wearing a mask during the robbery and when he was shot to death.

Police were still looking late into the night for a second man who managed to get away after the robbery at the Family Dollar on Chaffee Point Boulevard.

The robbery was reported at 7:10 p.m. Hartley said the robber stole a car in the dollar store parking lot and evaded police for about 30 minutes before crashing the car and getting out to run.

A police helicopter and a K9 unit helped track the suspect in the 8200 block of Oregon Street, near Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, before the suspect and officers exchanged gunfire.

Officers Jackson Short, Larry Propper and R.M. Silcox were placed on administrative leave pending an internal probe into the shooting.

Hartley credited Sarge, a five-year police dog, with keeping the officers safe.

The suspect was in a ditch as officers closed in, Hartley said, and could have used the terrain as cover for an ambush. The dog was let off the leash to pinpoint the suspect’s location.

“That dog did exactly what it was supposed to do,” Hartley said. “He kept those officers safe.”

In 1999, two police dogs were killed in the line of duty within a month of each other.


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