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K-9 officer Harlej killed during manhunt in Fishers was first line-of-duty death for department

K9 Harlej WEB.JPG
Posted at 7:07 AM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 19:15:45-05

FISHERS — Fishers police have identified the two suspects in an early-morning incident Wednesday that left a Fishers K-9 officer dead.

Richard Garrett and Rashanna Farrow are both 19-years-old and from Indianapolis.

Garrett faces nine charges including: striking a law enforcement animal, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, and resisting law enforcement with a vehicle.

Farrow, who was wanted on warrants from Indianapolis, is charged with False Informing. Both are held at the Hamilton County Jail.

The death of a Fishers Police Department K-9 officer early Wednesday morning was the first line-of-duty death in the department's history.

K-9 Harlej, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, was killed during a manhunt for two suspects.

A memorial is growing at the Fishers Police Department for K-9 officer Harlej, who was shot and killed during a pursuit on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.

The incident began when officers attempted to stop a possible drunken driver just after midnight on I-69. After a brief chase, the suspects stopped in the Saxony neighborhood and fled from their vehicle. K-9 Harlej was deployed to find the suspects and while he was searching in a wooded area, officers heard what they believed were shots fired from a gun.

READ | Two suspects in custody after manhunt in Fishers

Harlej was later found dead in the woods and two suspects were taken into custody.

"It is my belief that he saved lives last night and we're thankful for his sacrifice," Fishers Police Department Chief Ed Gebhart said during a press conference early Wednesday morning.

Gebhart said Harlej joined the Fishers Police Department in 2015 and had a "very successful career."

"We would ask for the community to be patient with us," Gebhart said.

Services for Harlej will be announced at a later date. Donations to the department in Harlej's name can be sent to the Fishers Police Foundation.

Fishers Police Department public information officer Tom Weger said there has been a huge outpouring of support, ranging from comments on social media, emails and voice messages to offerings of food, flowers and gift cards. He said a memorial is set up in the police department's lobby.

"It's been overwhelming and we sure do appreciate it," Weger said.

K9 Harlej and Officer Koopman.jpg