A police K-9 with a central Florida police department was shot and killed Wednesday morning while chasing a career criminal with a record containing dozens of prior felonies.
NBC affiliate WFLA-TV reports the incident took place in Lake Wales after a woman dialed 911 and said 57-year-old Earnest Borders dragged her out of a car, choked her and hit her head on the concrete before firing a gun outside her apartment.
Officers arrived and Borders fled the scene where shell casings had been found. Lake Wales Police Officer Jared Joyner and K-9 partner Max searched the area and Borders was found.
He opened fore on Max, killing the dog at the scene. Officers returned fire on Borders, who was pronounced dead at an area hospital.
“The officers defended themselves by returning fire at Borders, who was still armed,” a LWPD news release said.
Officers said Border’s criminal history includes 24 prior felonies, four prior misdemeanors and 18 felony convictions. He has been sentenced to prison three times.
Max was a seven-year-old Belgian Malinois Shepard who joined the department in December 2015 and was placed with his handler. Joyner is an 11-year veteran of the LWPD.
“K-9 officer Joyner lost a part of his family today,” Lake Wales Police Chief Chris Velasquez said. “Our K-9 partners live with and stay with the officers at their homes. They’re part of their family.”The officers who shot and killed Borders have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
“It crushes you because that K-9 died so the police officers wouldn’t,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
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