The Gwinnett County Police Department’s first full-time SWAT K9 and a suspect died from injuries they sustained in a shootout near Norcross on Thursday afternoon.
Police Cpl. Collin Flynn said officers who had been working with a detail that was looking into gang activity discovered a stolen vehicle with two people inside it behind the In-Town Suites at 1990 Willow Trail Parkway.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation reported a police officer saw a man and woman seen standing by a car in the parking lot. They were seen walking into a room at the hotel and then walking back out.
“The officer ran the tag of the vehicle, and the results came back indicating the vehicle was stolen,” the GBI said in a statement. “The officer approached the man and woman about the stolen vehicle.”
At that point, the man and the woman ran from officer in opposite directions, according to Gwinnett police.
The police department’s SWAT Unit was then called in, and it brought SWAT K9 Blue with it to search for a male suspect who had run into nearby woods.
“During that search, SWAT K9 Blue located items from the suspect and tracked him to a location within the woods,” Flynn said. “The suspect was given commands and at some point fired on officers. Officers returned fire after being fired upon. During the gunfire, K9 Blue and the suspect were both shot. Both K9 Blue and the suspect were transported to hospitals where they both died from their injuries.”
The GBI is handling an investigation into the shooting. The female suspect, who was seen running from the scene, has not been arrested or located. The suspect who died has not been identified.
“The GBI will continue its independent investigation,” state investigators said. “Once completed, it will be turned over to the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office for review.”
K9 Blue had been with the police department for just over a year and was 5 years old, according to the department.
Anyone who has information about the case, including the location of the other suspect, is asked to call detectives at 770-513-5300 or Crime Stoppers, which lets tipsters remain anonymous, at 404-577-8477. they can also visit www.stopcrimeATL.com. There is a cash reward offered by Crime Stoppers for information that leads to an arrest and indictment. Tipsters are asked to reference case No. 20-067836.