A tragic revelation has been made following an investigation into the death of a a police canine in Florida. According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, K-9 “Forest,” who died on November 22 from a fatal gunshot wound, died from friendly fire.
On Thursday, the sheriff’s office explained how the canine was killed during a confrontation with the armed suspect, Eddie Powell:
There is no evidence at this time indicating that Powell fired his weapon. During the initial shooting on Nov. 22, two deputies fired their weapons as Powell punched and fought with K-9 Forest while pointing a gun at one of the deputies. It has been determined that Forest was tragically killed by friendly fire, sustaining two gunshot wounds during the incident. It is unknown at this time which deputy fired the rounds that struck the K-9.
The 34-year-old fugitive, who was wanted in Georgia, was also hit in the fray. The man was arrested the following day after a large-scale search, reported ABC News.
Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson released the following statement regarding the new information:
“Sadly, unintended consequences sometimes occur in shooting situations,” said Sheriff Johnson. “This doesn’t change the fact that Forest died a hero while trying to subdue a dangerous gunman. Our deputies were put into a deadly threat situation and were forced to defend themselves. As far as I’m concerned, Eddie Powell is responsible for the death of Forest just as surely as if he had pulled the trigger.”
A final memorial service for the fallen canine officer is being held on Friday.