DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — An Austell police officer recounted to Channel 2 Action News how he dragged his K9 partner to safety under fire after the dog was wounded.
It happened this weekend in Douglas County during a manhunt for an armed suspect.
Channel 2′s Mark Winne sat down with the officer, who became emotional speaking about the support for his partner.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for the outstanding support I’ve gotten from my family, community, friends. Everybody has reached out. I can’t thank ‘em enough. I’m sure he appreciates it,” Officer E. Reeves said.
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The Austell officer said he had to drag his K9 partner Jerry Lee to safety after the dog was shot and seriously injured in a front leg during an manhunt in Douglasville Sunday.
“My first thing was his safety. I got to him and drug him back behind cover, drug him over a hundred feet get him behind a pole,” Reeves said. “He took a round for me. He saved my life that night.”
Austell Police Chief Bob Starrett said his office was notified by the Douglasville Police Department that they needed assistance with a K9.
“They were chasing a subject in the woods and asked for a track. The K9 jerry lee located the subject in the woods,” he said.
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A Georgia Bureau of Investigation preliminary report shows that Reeves and Jerry Lee encountered suspect Dequan Glenn in the woods, according to GBI spokeswoman Natalie Ammons.
“My officer gave warning three different times come out or he’d release his K9. Subject failed to come out. He released the canine. When he released the canine, gunshots were exchanged and our canine was shot,” Starrett told Winne.
Starrett said Jerry Lee was shot around 2:30 a.m. and Douglasville police rushed the K9 with Reeves at his side from the scene.
Ammons said the investigation indicates after the shooting that Glenn ran. At about 5:08 a.m. he was spotted from the air. As deputies tried to talk to him, a shot rang out. A handgun was found near Glenn’s body and he was pronounced dead at a hospital.
As for Jerry Lee, veterinarians were working to try to save his leg but said his police days are over.
“Our goal is to save the leg and that we don’t have to amputate him. If he does not respond and he’s still significantly painful, we can always make the decision to amputate at a later date,” said Dr. Kevin Winkler, medical director at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Sandy Springs.
“He’s more than a partner. He’s family to me. He’s family to my family,” Reeves said.
Jerry Lee will continue to live with Reeves in the dog’s retirement.
The GBI said an autopsy will be performed on Glenn to confirm the manner of death.
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