GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Gwinnett County police say a man and a K-9 officer are dead following a shootout with suspected car thieves.
The shootout happened in a wooded area behind the Intown Suites along Indian Trail Road in the Norcross area.
Police said members of the Gwinnett County Gang Task Force noticed a suspected stolen car in the hotel’s parking lot and confronted the man and woman sitting inside.
That’s when the couple took off and ran into the woods behind the hotel. Gwinnett police said they called in the SWAT team and the department’s air unit to help search for the couple.
About an hour later, shots rang out. Police said the male suspect fired at the officers and the officers returned fire, killing the man.
“All of a sudden we heard gunshots. We ran out of the room with the camera and there were police everywhere,” witness Kaleb Woods told Thomas.
In the exchange of gunfire, the male suspect shot a police K-9 named Blue.
“K-9 Blue was the first canine that was assigned to our full-time SWAT team. K-9 Blue was shot at least one time, taken to a local veterinary hospital where the dog died,” Cpl. Collin Flynn with the Gwinnett County Police Department said. “Officers fired after being fired upon. A handgun was found with the suspect after he was taken into custody. We believe that handgun was used by the suspect in this case,” Flynn said.
Police said they have little information about the woman who ran.
Officers with Gwinnett police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation remain at the scene. The GBI is taking the lead on the shooting investigation, which is standard in situations like this.
Police have not released the names of the suspects.
The department honored Blue in a post on the Facebook page saying, “K-9 Blue will honored on our in the line of duty death memorial at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. Thank you for your service K-9 Blue! Any donation will go towards K-9 Blues name being placed on the memorial at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.”
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the female suspect in this shooting investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.
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