Sheriff Steve Wilson of the Walker County Sheriff Department in Georgia reported that a departmental K9 of his agency was shot and killed.
K9 Tanja and her handler, Deputy Donnie Brown responded to a home on Moon Lake Road to assist in the search of a sexual assault suspect. The agency’s Special Operations Team along with ten additional deputies and two parole officers approached the mobile home trailer in a remote location.
They had a warrant for the suspect’s arrest and surrounded the house while Deputy Brown and Tanja entered the residence. Incendiary and CS tear gas devices had been thrown into the trailer in an attempt to force the suspect out of the trailer without success.
As Deputy Brown and K9 Tanja entered the suspect’s residence to conduct their search of the trailer, the suspect suddenly appeared and fired upon Deputy Brown and K9 Tanja. Deputy Brown was struck in the neck by a bullet and critically injured. K9 Tanja was struck by the gunfire and killed instantly.
Officers were able to surround and apprehended the suspect after a lengthy search. Surrounding law enforcement agencies and additional K9 teams from the State Department of Corrections assisted deputies. The suspect was armed with a high-powered rifle with a scope, but chose to surrender rather than fire upon officers.
K9 Tanja was a four-year-old female Belgian Malinois and had served the Walker County Sheriff Department for only two months.
As a sad coincidence, earlier in the day, Deputy Brown was handed a check from a local biker organization, The Roughnecks of Hamilton County, Tennessee. They support local law enforcement agencies in the area and had donated funds to the Sheriff Department for the complete purchase price of a bullet resistant vest for Tanja.
Although saddened by Tanja’s demise, Deputy Brown is recuperating at Hutcheson Medical Center from his gunshot wound.
The suspect, 58-year-old Steven Lee Waldemer, had prior arrests and was a paroled felon from Idaho.
EOW: Friday, June 13, 2014.
“Graphic created by Fellow Officer Rose Borisow GraFX”
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