Mississippi County, AR – Arkansas State Police K9 Trooper Hemi was fatally shot in the line of duty on Monday while assisting troopers in the apprehension of a suspect.
An Arkansas state trooper was patrolling Interstate 55 at about 7 p.m. on July 30 when he spotted a vehicle that had eluded Missouri police in a chase earlier that day, KLRT reported.
The trooper stopped the vehicle, and 35-year-old James Edward Blackmon jumped out and made a run for it.
Two Arkansas state troopers and a Mississippi County sheriff’s deputy pursued the suspect on foot, and caught up with him, KLRT reported.
That’s when K9 Trooper Hemi bravely went to work, according to a press release from the Arkansas State Police.
“At that time the trooper deployed his K-9. The K-9 caught up with the individual, and made contact. The individual then fired a gun at the K-9, killing him,” the state police said.
After he fatally shot K9 Trooper Hemi, Blackmon turned his weapon on the troopers, and a gun battle ensued, according to the press release.
Blackmon was seriously wounded in the gunfight, and was transported to the hospital where he later died, according to Arkansas State Police.
The troopers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave as is protocol during the investigation of an officer-involved shooting.
K9 Trooper Hemi joined the state police in 2013, and served with distinction for five years.
“With heavy hearts, we share this picture of ASP K-9 Trooper Hemi. Hemi was killed in the line of duty last night, as he was working with his partners to catch a suspect who fled from officers. Rest easy hero, we will miss you!” the Arkansas State Police posted on their official Facebook page.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Arkansas State Police in the loss of K9 Trooper Hemi.