VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation has concluded that a K-9 named Forrest was shot by friendly fire, as deputies pursued a man in a manhunt that lasted more than 19 hours.
Eddie Powell, 34, was initially accused in the killing of the K-9, but officials said there is no evidence that indicated that Powell fired his weapon.
Two deputies fired as Powell punched and fought K-9 Forrest while pointing a gun at deputies.
Officials concluded that Forrest was killed by friendly fire and suffered two gunshot wounds during the incident.
“Sadly, unintended consequences sometimes occur in shooting situations,” said Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson. “This doesn’t change the fact that Forrest died a hero while trying to subdue a dangerous gunman. Our deputies were put into a deadly threat situation and were forced to defend themselves. As far as I’m concerned, Eddie Powell is responsible for the death of Forrest just as surely as if he had pulled the trigger.”
Forrest was rushed to DeLand Animal Hospital but died from his wounds.
Deputies shot Powell multiple times on the afternoon of Nov. 23 as the manhunt came to an end.
He was apprehended and taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford with non-life-threatening injuries.
Powell was released from the hospital on Wednesday and booked into the Volusia County Jail. He is being charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer and operating an unregistered motor vehicle.
Powell is also being held on a probation violation for Georgia. Additional charges will be filed,including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and battery on a police dog.