Tragic news out of the southern United States where a Georgia police officer was shot and killed during a traffic stop Thursday afternoon. The DeKalb County Police confirmed that an officer has died after he was shot along Candler Road while conducting the traffic stop. When the suspect tried to flee, a police K-9 chased after him but he was also shot. The service dog is recovering but sadly the police officer didn't survive.
DeKalb County Police Chief James Conroy issued a statement around 8:30 p.m. Thursday. "I have very sad news to report this evening," Chief Conroy said. "Sad, sad news to report this evening. A DeKalb County Police officer died this evening while serving in the line of duty serving the citizens of DeKalb County."
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The DeKalb County Police Chief went on to say that the officer made a traffic stop near Candler and Tilson Roads around 5 p.m. It was at this point that the driver of the vehicle bailed on foot and the officer and K-9 took off in hot pursuit. Sometime during the foot pursuit, the suspect pulled out a handgun and fired it at both the officer and the K-9 unit.
The officer was struck with at least one round in the back of his head and he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where he passed away from his injuries. The officer has not been named but he certainly gave his life in the line of duty and one day he will be honored for it. The department did reveal that the officer had only been with the DeKalb County Police for less than two years.
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Fox 5 reported that he had graduated from the academy in October 2017. Officers responded to the scene of the shooting and tried tracking the suspect with another K-9 unit but the dog lost the scent somewhere near a business along Candler Road. The K-9 eventually found the suspect whose identity has not been released and nearby officers exchanged gunfire striking the fleeing suspect multiple times.
The gunman was taken to a nearby hospital but he too died of his wounds. Some might say justice has been served for the slain officer and the suspect will never see a day in court. The DeKalb County Police Department said the suspect was in his 20s to 30s but did not reveal anything else.
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Chief Conroy continued in his statement saying, "I am very proud of the men and women of the police department. They responded to the scene, were able to track the suspect, they did their job, and all while this was going on, the officers throughout the county providing services to DeKalb."
Officers from several law enforcement agencies expressed their support for the DeKalb police and the fallen officer, many of whom showed up to honor the officer's service when his body was escorted from the Grady Memorial Hospital around 8:45 p.m. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the state level equivalent of the FBI, will be handling the shooting which is standard procedure within their department when a fatality occurs.
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