Lake Wales K-9 killed by gunman in officer-involved shooting, police say

Earnest Borders, 57, shot and killed 7-year-old Max, a K-9 unit with LWPD

A Lake Wales K-9 officer was killed in a shooting Wednesday morning, according to the Lake Wales Police Department.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A Lake Wales K-9 officer was killed in a shooting Wednesday morning, according to the Lake Wales Police Department.

Earnest Borders, 57, was reported to law enforcement at about 5:06 a.m. for dragging a victim out of her car near Seminole Avenue, choking her, hitting her head on the concrete and firing a gun several times outside her apartment, police said.

Earnest Border, 57 (Lake Wales Police Department)

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However, Borders had fled the area by the time officers got to the scene, police said.

Borders was later seen returning to the area west of Martin Luther King Boulevard, according to police. Police said he ran into a wooded area after police arrived near his location.

Police said Officer Jared Joyner and his K-9 partner, Max, searched the area along with other officers, eventually finding Borders in the woods. According to police, Borders then shot and killed Max with a stolen handgun.

Body-worn camera image showing the scene of the shooting (Lake Wales Police Department)

Officers returned fire, shooting Borders, police said. Borders was taken to a local hospital where he was declared dead.

The police department stated that Borders had a criminal background, including battery, assault, grand theft, larceny, dealing in stolen property and numerous failures to appear in court, among others. Police said he had been sentenced to the Florida State Prison three times.

Joyner is an 11-year veteran of LWPD. Max, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois, was paired with him in 2015, according to the police department.

LWPD said it has requested the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the shooting.

Listen to the 911 audio released by LWPD below:

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.