Austell Police Dog, Jerry Lee Forced To Retire After Being Shot
Austell K-9 “Jerry Lee” was shot once in his front leg while in the line of duty as he chased a suspect in a neighboring community. Jerry Lee survived after undergoing emergency surgery, but his law enforcement career as a police K9 is over due to the severity of his injuries. Jerry Lee and his handler, Officer Reeves, were called into service by Douglasville Police Department who requested assistance with a vehicle trying to avoid the checkpoint on Chapel Hill Road, around 2:07 a.m. Sunday, April 18. After a vehicle chase, the driver, 24-year-old Dequan Cortez Glenn of Atlanta, fled on foot. Austell authorities were the first to locate Glenn and exchanged gunfire with him. During the exchange, K-9 Jerry Lee was shot. After shooting Jerry Lee, Glenn fled on foot and was later located by a Georgia Patrol aviation unit. As members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team tried speaking with him, they reported hearing a gunshot. A news release from the GBI said a preliminary autopsy showed Glenn died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Jerry Lee is now at home resting, per his handler, Officer Reeves. Saying it was a tricky surgery on his left leg, Reeves said Jerry Lee has a “long hard road to go and would no longer be able to work as a police dog.” Instead, Jerry Lee’s new role will be family pet as he goes to live with the Reeves family. As he left the Blue Pearl Pet Hospital, Jerry Lee was wearing a large blue cast on the leg and wagging his tail as he headed to his new home with Reeves by his side. Austell Police Officer Natalie Poulk confirmed for SPOTLIGHT that Jerry Lee will have to retire, saying “He will never be able to work at 100% again.” Poulk said Jerry Lee remains strong and is trying to walk, which is great news for all of us on his recovery as we thank him for his years of dedicated service.
Jerry Lee has a long healing process ahead of him, so if you want to support this brave former K9 officer with his medical bills, please go to his Facebook page to make a donation.