Police in Fishers, Indiana, are mourning the loss of Harlej, a K-9 dog that was shot down on Wednesday night during an intense police pursuit of two suspects. Harlej had been with this particular force since 2015, having served and protected the community against crime with loyalty, according to WTHR News.
The incident began when Fishers police were notified of suspected impaired driver. When police tried to stop the vehicle, it led to a short high-speed chase, during which time one of the occupants of the car leapt from the vehicle and tried to escape the police on foot. It was Harlej who ran after him fearlessly and was shot soon after.
One of the suspects, 19-year-old Richard D. Garrett Jr., is allegedly the man who took down the dog. He showed little remorse for his actions, even taunting the officers by repeating “click, click, bang” when he was eventually captured.
In addition, officers say the suspect continued to make the sound of a “shotgun being racked followed by boom several times.”
Garrett Jr. now faces a plethora of serious criminal charges, including striking a law enforcement animal, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, and residential entry. He is being held on a hefty $150,000 bond and will go to trial in February of 2020.
JUST IN: @Fishers_Police say 19-year-old Richard D. Garrett Jr faces several felony charges, including "Striking a Law Enforcement Animal". During K9 Harlej's pursuit of Garrett Jr., officers say the dog was shot and killed. pic.twitter.com/q8bHJn2Jky
— Kelly Reinke (@KellyReinkeTV) November 13, 2019
The other suspect in this case is a woman, Rashaana L. Farrow, who was captured approximately two hours after the shooting occurred. She has been charged with assisting a criminal, identity deception, and false informing. She is currently being held in jail on a $10,000 cash bond.
The Fishers Police Department is now mourning one of their own, while many members of the community have offered their condolences and shared their appreciation to the fallen K-9 that died while in service.
“K9 Harlej answered his last call early this morning protecting his fellow officers and our community. We owe him & our men and women in uniform a debt of gratitude,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness.
Councilmen Eric Moeller echoed the mayor’s sentiments.
“A sad day for the Fishers community and the Fishers PD family. Grateful for Harlej’s service,” he said.
Just last year, Michigan police went through a similar loss when one of their own K-9s, a dog named Axe, was shot and killed while on duty, as The Inquitir previously reported. Axe had been in pursuit of a male suspect who had opened fire just outside a banquet hall where around 70 people were in attendance to celebrate a baby shower.