Posted on Wed, Jul. 13, 2005
Officers kill suspect who shot police dog
INDIANAPOLIS â€“ Police fatally shot a man who they said shot and killed a Marion County Sheriffâ€™s Department dog.
The gunfight Monday ended a 40-minute search for the man â€“ identified as Jerry Stephens, 29, â€“ through a south-side neighborhood. Police were trying to arrest him on several criminal warrants, said Sgt. Judy Phillips, a police spokeswoman.
The original officers searching for the man called in extra help, which included the dog, an 8-year-old male Belgian Malinois, a type of shepherd.
During the hunt, residents called police to report that a man was in their back yard. When officers arrived, the suspect was in a shed behind the home and fired first, hitting the dog, police said. Officers immediately returned fire.
Police rushed the dog named Arco to a nearby animal hospital, where he died.
The dog was the second in the department to die by hostile fire, said Lt. Benny Diggs, the commander of the unit. For the animalsâ€™ handlers, who train with the dogs and care for them at their homes, it is like losing a human partner, Diggs said.
â€œFor the eight hours a day you spend with that dog, you develop almost a family-like bond with them,â€ he said.
Eleven-year veteran Cpl. Marc Archer handled Arco, and witnesses said he left the scene in tears.
â€œTheyâ€™re with one another 24 hours a day,â€ Phillips said. â€œItâ€™s losing a loved one; itâ€™s losing your partner. Itâ€™s a grieving period.â€
The dogâ€™s body was turned over to the Marion County coronerâ€™s office so evidence, including bullets, could be retrieved.