K9 officer Jarred Koopman and his K- partner, Harlej, were a perfect pair. The Belgian Malinois was alert, loyal, active, and always ready to serve and protect.
When the pair were called to support their fellow officers in a manhunt for a drunk, armed teenager, they rushed to the scene. The manhunt had turned into a highway speed chase down the local interstate.
When the cops caught up to the suspect, he abandoned his vehicle and fled, hoping to make it to the nearby forest.
Jarred and Harlej started chasing the suspect and eventually cornered him, but he still refused to surrender and made his way into the forest, forcing officer Jared to unleash Harlej to take down the suspect.
The brave dog instantly knew what to do and went after the suspect into the woods. The officers quickly lost sight of the suspect and the dog, but they were sure the dog would never lose sight of the dog and will take him down.
Unfortunately, moments later, they heard a gunshot. Hours later, the police found the K-9’s body and their fears were confirmed. The brave dog died from a gunshot wound.
They also located the suspect nearby, still alive but unable to walk due to the bite left in his leg.
The Suspect, now named to be called Garrett, is facing 10 preliminary charges that include striking a law enforcement animal, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, and criminal recklessness.
“It is my belief he saved lives last night, and we’re thankful for his sacrifice,”Department Chief Ed Gebhart
The news of Harlej’s passing broke many hearts, and the department’s lobby was filled up with heartwarming notes and flowers from community members to show their love and gratitude for their canine protector.
May he rest in peace.