Suspect dead, Austell K9 recovering after he was shot during manhunt

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. — A suspect shot an Austell K9 and later killed himself during a manhunt in Douglasville, according to officials.

Austell police shared photos of K9 Jerry Lee, who was hit by a bullet in one of his front legs. The K9 is stable and awaiting surgery.

“Please continue to pray for Jerry Lee . He and his handler need lots of prayers for peace and recovery. We will keep you updated on Jerry Lee’s progress! Thank you for all the positive messages and love sent,” police said.

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Channel 2′s Michael Seiden learned the manhunt began near a safety checkpoint. Residents in Douglasville told Seiden that it’s not unusual to see safety checkpoints along Douglas Boulevard.

But Sunday around 2 a.m., police said an armed man tried to avoid it and that sparked a chase and shooting.

Investigators said the suspect jumped out of his car and ran through the woods. Douglasville police set up a perimeter and then called Austell police to help out.

K9 Lee helped tracked down the suspect, who exchanged gunfire with an officer. One of the bullets hit Lee in his front leg. Fellow officers rushed him to an animal hospital. He is expected to have surgery Monday.

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Nearly three hours later, the suspect was seen in the woods near a Hooters restaurant.

After they found the suspect, Douglasville police called in a SWAT team that tried to talk to the armed suspect. During negotiations, officers heard a gunshot and found the man in the woods with his gun nearby.

The man was transported to WellStar Douglas Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The GBI says their Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy as the investigation into the chain of events continues.