JONESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Police in Georgia on Saturday shot and killed a 17-year-old boy they said killed a police dog and pointed a gun at officers, authorities said.
The Clayton County Police Department identified the teenager as Stephon Ford, 17. Assistant Police Chief Bruce Parks told news outlets that officers were trying to apprehend Ford, who was suspected of firing a gun at officers and killing a police dog earlier in the day. Parks said officers shot and killed Ford after he pointed a gun at them.
“The overall situation is tragic. We hate it. We never want anything like this to happen,” Parks told reporters.
The events began unfolding just before 2 a.m. Saturday when the Jonesboro Police Department responded to a call of suspicious activity at a motel. Police arrested two people, and a K-9 unit from the Clayton County Police Department was used to track a third person to a wooded area, Parks said.
In a Facebook post, Clayton Police Capt. John Ivey said officers gave verbal commands for the suspect to come out, but the suspect fired at officers and struck the police dog. The dog, named Waro, died from his injuries, the police department said.
About eight hours later, police found Ford in a wooded area behind a neighborhood. Parks said an officer directed Ford to put his gun down and surrender. Parks said officers fatally shot Ford after he pointed a gun at them.
The agency shared their grief on Facebook, writing:
The Clayton County Police Department Family is mourning the loss of one of our K-9’s – Waro. During his time of service with our Department, he has worked diligently to keep the citizens of this County and our officers safe. K-9 Waro is being recognized for his heroism and selflessness as he gave his life protecting others. He was loved by many and will be sorely missed. Thank you for your service Waro, we have it from here. Rest well buddy, you’ve earned your wings.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.