AUSTELL, Ga. - The K-9 officer shot while tracking a suspect this weekend is expected to be released from a veterinarian hospital on Tuesday.
Austell Police K-9 Jerry Lee was shot once in the front leg while tracking the man. The K-9 was rushed to an area veterinary hospital and underwent surgery.
The Austell K-9 unit was asked to assist in the search for a suspect who was avoiding a driver’s license and safety checkpoint on Chapel Hill Road near the Interstate 20 exit set up by the Douglasville Police Department around 2:07 a.m. Sunday.
Officials said officers began to pursue the vehicle on I-20, but it stopped and the male driver ran eastbound behind the Lowe's, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.
K-9 Jerry Lee after surgery (Austell Police Department)
K-9 Jerry Lee was able to track the suspect who then exchanged fire with officers, striking the K-9 officer.
The suspect was later found in the woods near the 6800 block of Douglas Boulevard. Investigators said officers heard a gunshot after approaching the suspect. He was found with a gunshot wound and rushed to the hospital where he later died.
On Monday, the Austell Police Department posted an update on K-9 Jerry Lee:
"Out of surgery! Stable at this point. If pain is manageable, he should go home as soon as tomorrow hopefully. This was a tricky procedure, we are praying for a full recovery. Jerry Lee has a long road to go! Keep the prayers and good vibes coming! Updates to follow..."
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting the investigation.
The name of the suspect has not been released. It was not immediately clear why the suspect was trying to avoid the checkpoint.
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