Man dead, Austell K9 injured during manhunt

Austell Police K-9 “Jerry Lee” was shot in the leg during a manhunt in Douglasville early Sunday morning.

A man is dead and an Austell Police K-9 was shot and injured after a manhunt in Douglasville early Sunday morning.

The incident started around 2:07 a.m. when Douglasville Police Department officers were conducting a driver’s license and safety checkpoint on Chapel Hill Road, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which was called in to investigate.

A man in a vehicle attempted to avoid law enforcement and when officers began to pursue the vehicle the man ran, according to the GBI. Officers set up a perimeter and requested assistance from the Austell PD K-9 Unit. During the search, the man was found and gunfire was exchanged with an Austell officer. Austell PD K-9 “Jerry Lee” was struck once in his front leg, according to the GBI.

After the shooting, the man ran again along a wood line parallel to I-20 and was located at about 5:08 a.m. by Georgia State Patrol Aviation in the woods behind Hooters on Douglas Boulevard.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team members attempted to talk to the man and during their attempts they reported hearing a gunshot, according to the GBI. Officers found the man with a gunshot wound and rendered medical aid, according to the GBI. The man had a gun near his body, according to the GBI, and was transported to Wellstar Douglas Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy will be performed by the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office. The man’s identity is being withheld pending next of kin notification.

K-9 Jerry Lee had surgery Monday afternoon.

Prior to the surgery, Austell PD wrote on Facebook “Please pray for a good outcome with the procedure. Not the best diagnosis, but we know this hero can pull through and recover 100%. Thank you for the outpouring of love and support.”

A message left by the Sentinel with Austell PD seeking an update on his condition was not returned by press time.

The GBI will conduct an independent investigation. Once completed, it will be turned over to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office for review.