Hero Down: Paulding County Sheriff's K9 Verro Fatally Shot After Mistaken Bite

Paulding County Sheriff's Office K9 Verro served his department for over seven years.

Dallas, GA – Pauling County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) K9 Verro died in the line of duty on July 19, after he mistook a deputy for a fleeing suspect.

The tragic incident began at approximately 12:03 p.m., when K9 Verro and his partner, PCSO Corporal Brandon Kilgore, were dispatched to a report of a domestic dispute on Trotters Way, the department said in a press release.

As they were traveling to the scene, the male suspect fled on foot through people’s yards and over fences in an attempt to escape.

Cpl. Kilgore spotted the fleeing suspect, and bailed out of his patrol car to chase after him.

“Handlers are trained on specific rules regarding the deployment of their K-9 partners,” the department noted. “At the time Corporal Kilgore arrived, the departmental criteria to deploy the dog had not been met, so he did not release K-9 Verro.”

The eight-year-old Belgian Malinois was fiercely protective of his partner, and was well aware that Cpl. Kilgore was in pursuit.

“K-9 Verro was the kind of working dog that any handler would dream of,” the PCSO explained. “He had a high drive to fight crime and was relentless in his work ethic.”

“Anyone that knew K-9 Verro knew how attached and protective he was of his handler, Corporal Kilgore,” the department continued. “When Corporal Kilgore left his patrol vehicle chasing someone, K-9 Verro wanted to be with him as the two were inseparable.”

The devoted K9 managed to squeeze himself through a small opening that separated his kennel from the driver’s compartment of the patrol vehicle, then inched his way through the partially open driver’s side window.

As the chaotic scene unfolded, no Deputies were aware K-9 Verro was out of his vehicle,” the PCSO said. “Had Corporal Kilgore known K-9 Verro was loose, he would have advised the other Deputies to stop the foot pursuit and taken command of K-9 Verro.”

Devoid of his handler’s guidance, K9 Verro was unable to differentiate between the suspect and a fellow deputy. Desperate to help, he honed in on a deputy who happened to be running away from his location, and grabbed the back of his leg.

K9 Verro was trained to hold onto a suspect until his handler would give him the order to release, but Cpl. Kilgore had no idea that he had even freed himself from their patrol vehicle.

The deputy he latched on to had been bitten from behind, and was unaware that the dog that bit him was a law enforcement K9.

The deputy then drew his duty weapon, and fatally shot K9 Verro, who died at the scene.

The injured deputy is continuing to heal from his injuries, and the suspect the deputies were pursuing was ultimately apprehended.

“This has been a devastating incident that has shaken our office to its core,” the PCSO said of K9 Verro’s tragic death.

The dual purpose K9 was “an exceptional member” of the department, the agency said.

Cpl. Kilgore and K9 Verro had been partners for over seven years.

Being a former K-9 handler, I know how special the bond is between a handler and his dog,” Paulding County Sheriff Gary Gulledge said in the press release. “The emotional grief everyone is going through, including the Deputy who was bitten, has been overwhelming.”

“Please keep Corporal Kilgore, his family, the K-9 Unit, our injured Deputy, and the Sheriff’s Office in your prayers as we all go through this difficult time,” Sheriff Gulledge said.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office and Cpl. Kilgore in the loss of K9 Verro.

Comments (53)
No. 1-24
Excalibr4
Excalibr4

I hate reading stories like this. I suppose because the animal, while loyal and an effective ally, doesn't realize danger it faces, when deployed. This is the second story this week I have read about a K9 being shot to death.

Snakeman 51
Snakeman 51

RIP, Verro. You are missed....Thank you, Big Dog.

Raymelson
Raymelson

This breaks my heart that a beautiful dog lost his life maybe God has a special place heros like vero so sad

bryantrent
bryantrent

So sorry for the Dog

RPG156
RPG156

I have a close buddy that is a longtime K9 officer/trainer. I asked him what he would do if a Belgian Malanois attacked him. Without a pause, he said that he would shoot it. That surprised me. He explained that if it didn't respond to commands, there is no other viable option.

CloserFocus
CloserFocus

Something doesn’t add up. Partners all that time & this was the only time Verro was left behind in the car for a pursuit?
It’s truly disgusting how many K9s die needlessly. At least he wasn’t left behind to fry in the car. I know....hate on me now.

gfc1963
gfc1963

So sad. RIP Verro.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

The unnamed deputy did a felony under Georgia law:

(e) A person commits the offense of harming a law enforcement animal in the first degree when he or she knowingly and intentionally causes the death of a law enforcement animal while such law enforcement animal is in performance of its duties or because of such law enforcement animal's performance of its duties. Any person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 18 months nor more than five years, a fine not to exceed $50,000.00, or both.

61mouse
61mouse

I blame the fucking asshole that killed him . If K9s are trained to bite but not harm or mull the suspects then I doubt he was doing that to the fucking officer

61mouse
61mouse

So what's the officers name ???

Dixiedamit
Dixiedamit

He didn't know it was a police K9.. the dog wears a badge for crying out loud ! This deputy just shot and killed a fellow officer and for not one minute do I believe he did not know... he just blatantly shot because of the pain. RIP OFFICER VERRO..you did your job and a fellow Officer failed you.

joaquinradioman
joaquinradioman

I don't understand this...aren't K-9s suppose to wear identifying vests and bullet proof vests? If not, it should be mandatory for all K-9's....I can imagine how bad the officer who shot him feels along with the officer who it was assigned to!!!

61mouse
61mouse

What about the taser ???

Popcop.M1
Popcop.M1

How many levels of negligence are in this incident? One, the dog was able to escape his holding area, two the handler left his window open enough for the dog to fit through, three, the officer getting bit doesn't recognize the dog is a K9 officer? No harness, no badge? We've had plenty of deputies in my agency get accidentally bit by K9's over the years. We've never had to kill one.

question evrything
question evrything

it seems like cop dogs has more rights then a citizen!

"The emotional grief everyone is going through, including the deputy who was bitten, has been overwhelming."

boo fucking hoo! how many dogs have been killed by cops? and now they want to cry about some vicious trained assault mutt. fuck you! i have NO sympathy for you!

if that dog had seen an innocent bystander and bit them and was killed by that person, they would be charged with murder! SO FUCK YOU PIGGY'S!!! and the whore you rode in on....... ya the dog saw a CRIMINAL and bit him!!!!!!

Sharonmk
Sharonmk

Too many canine officers are being killed by those we trust to care for them. SAD!

Gunrnr
Gunrnr

Had a similar situation with the same ending in Albuquerque, a few yrs ago. The major difference was that it involved an irresponsible handler who had already cost the city several hundred thousand dollars in legal damages.

new2lv2
new2lv2

I'm sorry for everyone involved in this tragic accident. My prayers are with you all. Rest easy K9 Verro.

Baam
Baam

So very sorry for the tragic loss of K-9 Verro, may he RIP. He died doing what he was taught to do. RIP K-9 hero. Condolence to K-0 Verro's partner and the entire Department. Bless you all.

tottenbrian
tottenbrian

Sadly this is another testimony to the incompetance prevalent in most police communities, no wonder that certain folk feel threatened by the police - As a breeder of German Shepard Dogs, I would not want my pups working with a bunch of ignorant clowns - I respect and support dogs in the military, well trained, etc. But the time for K9s in the hands of the local cops is over as this sad tale indicates .....

C911
C911

Very sorry for the loss of Vero. Thank you for your service. Prayers for the officer that shot vero and was bitten.Ty for your service. This must be a difficult time for all. An unfortunate event...

Spydersniper
Spydersniper

So sorry for your loss. These dogs are certified police officers. Accidents do occur, and unfortunately this is what happened here, to both parties. May he rest in peace knowing he was doing what he was trained to do. Prayers also go out to the officer. Perhaps an emergency word should be given out to the officers working with the K-9 officer for just such an emergency. Bravo-Zulu, Vero! .

DNW
DNW

Rest Forever, Verro. Faithful Friend of Man.

shooter
shooter

This does happen on occasion. I recall one incident in Orange County (CA) in which an officer from another agency was bitten by one of our Malanois K9s in the crotch and suffered serious damage to those sensitve areas. Luckily, the officer was able to get the Malanois off of him before he had to resort to shooting it.