Armed Georgia teen fatally shot by cops after killing K-9 officer during eight-hour manhunt

Armed Georgia teen fatally shot by cops after killing K-9 officer during eight-hour manhunt

A Georgia teenager was shot dead by cops after he gunned down a police dog during an eight-hour manhunt, according to authorities.

Stephon Ford, 17, died Saturday hours after the Jonesboro Police Department was called to investigate “suspicious activity” at a hotel, where authorities said they found Ford and two other men with marijuana and a cache of weapons.

While the other men were arrested without incident, Ford fled into a wooded area, sparking an eight-hour manhunt, officials told a press conference.

The nearby Clayton Police Department was among those helping, deploying K-9 officer Waro, a German shepherd, to help track down the teen.

Waro managed to find the hiding suspect, who refused to surrender — with Ford instead firing at officers with a handgun, hitting the K-9 in the back.

The 2-year-old dog was rushed to a local animal hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. No other officers were injured in the exchange of gunfire.

Stephon Ford, 17, is pictured in a mugshot.
Stephon Ford, 17, died in a shootout with officers from the Jonesboro Police Department on Saturday morning.
Clayton County Police Department
Waro, a German shepherd, is pictured with his tongue sticking out.
Hours earlier, he had shot and killed Clayton County Police Department K-9 Waro.
Georgia Department of Public Safety

A SWAT team joined a door-to-door search for Ford, finding him again hours later, 11 Alive reports.

Ford declined several times to show officers his hands before he was fatally shot at around 2 a.m. Saturday, police said.

“Ford had a handgun in his hand at the time he was shot,” said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the incident.

Police are pictured on the scene searching for Ford.
Authorities said Ford fled into a wooded area, where he shot the dog, before fleeing again.

“When the weapon was inspected, it appeared it had malfunctioned while being fired,” the agency added. It is unclear what may have malfunctioned in the gun.

Clayton Assistant Police Chief Bruce Parks also said in a news conference:

“The overall situation is tragic. We hate it,” Clayton Assistant Police Chief Bruce Parks told the news conference.

“We try to use all our training and experience to bring it to an easy resolution, but this is not easy on us. It’s not easy on the suspect’s family.”

The Jonesboro Police Department is also conducting its own independent investigation of the shooting, which will be handed to the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office for review.

“Our hearts go out to the Clayton County Police Department and colleagues of K-9 Waro. His dedicated service to our community will always be remembered,” Jonesboro police Chief Tommy Henderson III said.

“I also want to extend condolences to the family of Stephon Ford. This unfortunate incident is devastating and a tragic loss that will undoubtedly impact the lives of his loved ones.”

Assistant Police Chief Bruce Parks is pictured at a news conference.
Clayton Assistant Police Chief Bruce Parks called the situation “tragic,” saying the police department “hates it.”

Waro, originally from Slovakia, joined the county police department in March 2021.

He was supposed to soon get a protective bullet and stab-proof vest ordered through a charitable donation from Vested Interest of K-9s, Inc — but tragically never got to wear it in time to save him.

“K-9 Waro is being recognized for his heroism and selflessness as he gave his life protecting others,” his department said. “He was loved by many and will be sorely missed.”

The Georgia Police K-9 Foundation also said: “Waro was shot and killed in the line of duty while trying to apprehend a suspect. Thoughts and prayers with all involved.”



SOURCE: New york post

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