Hero Down: Fishers PD K9 Harlej Killed By Gunman

Fishers Police Department K9 Harlej bit the suspect in the leg before he was fatally shot, police said.

Fishers, IN – Fishers Police Department (FPD) K9 Harlej was killed in the line of duty while tracking an armed suspect early Wednesday morning.

The incident began at approximately 12 a.m. on Interstate 69, when Fishers police attempted to pull over a motorist who was suspected of driving while intoxicated, WXIN reported.

The driver refused to stop, leading officers on a vehicle pursuit that ended on Olio Road.

A female passenger remained inside the car, but the male driver took off on foot into the woods, the FPD said in a press release.

The woman was taken into custody, and K9 Harlej was called to the scene to track the male suspect, who was later identified as 19-year-old Richard Garrett.

An officer spotted Garrett in the wooded area, and deployed K9 Harlej after the suspect again failed to stop, police said.

“Shortly after, the officer heard a gunshot and K9 Harlej went missing,” the FPD said.

Garrett was apprehended several hours later with a minor leg injury.

He was transported to a local hospital, and was subsequently booked into the Hamilton County Jail.

“A short time later, officers found K9 Harlej in a wooded area,” the FPD said. “During his pursuit of the suspect, K9 Harlej was shot and succumbed to his injury.”

Police said that the five-year-old Belgian Malinois bit Garrett before the suspect fatally shot him, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Investigators are still trying to locate the weapon Garrett used to kill K9 Harlej, WRTV reported.

The female suspect, later identified as 19-year-old Rashaana Farrow, has been charged with false informing, according to the FPD.

She was also wanted on warrants out of Marion County at the time of the incident.

Garret has been charged with 10 preliminary offenses, including possession of a handgun without a license, unauthorized entry into a vehicle, possession of marijuana, resisting law enforcement, two counts of residential entry, theft/receiving stolen property, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, and striking a law enforcement animal, according to the FPD.

"It is my belief that [K9 Harlej] saved lives last night, and we're thankful for his sacrifice," FPD Chief Ed Gebhart said during a press conference later Wednesday morning. “[He had a] very successful career.”

K9 Harlej joined the FPD in 2015, and served alongside his partner and handler, Fishers Police Officer Jarred Koopman, for his entire career, WXIN reported.

The incident marked the first line-of-duty death in the history of the FPD.

Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said that the community is indebted to K9 Harlej for his years of devoted service.

“K9 Harlej answered his last call early this morning protecting his fellow officers and our community,” Fadness tweeted. “We owe him & our men and women in uniform a debt of gratitude.”

The FPD said that a memorial service for the fallen K9 will be announced at a later date, WRTV reported.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fishers Police Department and Officer Koopman in the loss of K9 Harlej.

Comments (61)
No. 1-20
Excalibr4
Excalibr4

fn

Amitzah Mitzvah
Amitzah Mitzvah

A tragic loss. I honestly think there should be a charge of murder against people that murder police animals. The life of trained police animals are as valuable as our police personal.

RetiredCorrections
RetiredCorrections

Throw the book at him , POS

Terminaters168
Terminaters168

Another 13 percenter. LCD’S cousin

TrueAmerican
TrueAmerican

Heartbreaking 🙏🏻💙🇺🇸🐾

bryantrent
bryantrent

Can't believe this guy goes free court system is screws up

GForce48
GForce48

I wonder who this clown was planning on voting for in the 2020 election?

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

SIDE ISSUE: If Harlej had bitten an innocent person while off the chain, and the innocent person responded by killing poor Harlej, then would that person be guilty of a crime? Why or why not?

gfc1963
gfc1963

One of HCD's finest I see. Pillar of the cimmunity, going to college, blah blah blah.

Stanracer
Stanracer

The usual suspects.

xxcloroxx
xxcloroxx

Fn

bowhuntersxsix
bowhuntersxsix

Rest In Paradise K9 Harlej 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

Your precious life mattered 🖤💙🖤

Idk which emotion is gripping me more after reading this. I’ve got tears flowing for this beautiful, precious, brave K9 who faithfully did his job until the end. I’m also holding back anger against the alleged suspect who killed him. I’ll say it again. It’s been my opinion ever since K9’s have been used:

If a suspect attempts to kill a K9, they should receive an automatic life sentence, without parole, and no offers of a plea bargain.

If a suspect kills a K9, they should receive an automatic death sentence, without parole, (obviously), and no offers of a plea bargain.

It should go without saying, I believe the same applies to human LEOs.

DieselDawg
DieselDawg

The usual suspect. Why am I not surprised?

DR226
DR226

Usual suspect, scum! RIP Harlej! This dirtbag should spend his life as a training dummy at a PD K9 training facility.

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

Condolences to Harlej's handler and partner! God Speed officer Koopman! God Speed! I'm sorry the pup didn't rip open this guys femoral artery!

Schick56
Schick56

Wtf, only "striking a law enforcement animal"? Should be murder. POS

K9Always
K9Always

I've been reading some of the replies and I would like to address something, if I may. As a CWD handler myself, the loss of a trained Police Dog, CWD Dog or MWD is no different then the loss of its handler. Once you put the work and time and care in working everyday with that dog, who by the way, is an Officer, then only can you fully understand what is it means to be a K9 team. Its great that people who volunteer with rescues and donate to them, but, again, doing that and doing what we do with our dogs, completely different and as I stated before, no-one other than a Police, CWD or MWD handler will understand the bond and what it takes to do the job. And, for edification, in some states, it is a murder charge if a Police dog is murdered in the line of duty, they hold rank and title, same with Military Working dogs.

Grammysam
Grammysam

Our canine Officers are a part of law enforcement, and should always be treated as such. I firmly believe that anyone who purposely hurts or kills an officer, whether a human or a canine, should receive punishment. The degree of punishment should fit the crime.

61mouse
61mouse

Spend hours looking for the asshole ??? They should have ALL been looking for the officer down instead just maybe he'd be alive

61mouse
61mouse

Now put the asshole in a pen with all of K9 Harlejs coworkers 🐶🐶🤗🤗