The South Fulton Police Department said it was working closely with the College Park Police Department to investigate the incident.
SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — A South Fulton Police K-9 officer died Friday when the service animal was hit by gunfire from a College Park officer, the South Fulton department said.
11Alive has reached out to College Park Police for any further details. The exact circumstances surrounding the officer firing his weapon were not clear.
It happened at an apartment complex on Lakemont Drive in College Park as K-9 teams from the South Fulton Police Department were deployed to find a suspect who’d earlier fled a traffic stop and “discharged his firearm multiple times,” South Fulton Police said.
“Unfortunately, during the operation, our K-9 Max was struck by gunfire by an officer from the College Park Police Department. The South Fulton Police Department is working closely with the College Park Police Department to thoroughly investigate this heartbreaking incident,” a statement said. “We are committed to understanding the full circumstances of this tragedy and ensuring such an incident does not occur again.”
It happened around 10:45 a.m., South Fulton Police said, after the suspect had previously escaped to the notoriously troubled Camelot Condominiums apartments in South Fulton. It’s not clear how the suspect, who was not named, made his way to the College Park complex.
“Our K-9 officers are not just dogs; they are valued members of our police family and community. The loss of K-9 Max deeply affects us all, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to the handler and everyone who worked closely with our fallen hero,” South Fulton Police said. “We appreciate the community’s support and understanding during this difficult time. We also extend our gratitude to all officers and departments involved in the ongoing effort to ensure public safety.”
South Fulton Police said a memorial service would be held and that details will be announced for it shortly.
“We invite the community to join us in remembering and honoring the bravery and service of our K-9 hero,” the department said.