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Sexual assault suspect kills newly appointed police canine

Rest in peace
Rest in peace
Walker County, Ga., Sheriff's Office

After just eight weeks on the job, a police canine with the Walker County, Ga., Sheriff's Office was fatally shot while trying to secure a sexual assault suspect, reported Sunday's WDEF News.

The Belgian Malinois, named "Tanja," was killed by 58-year-old Steve Waldemer, a sexual-assault suspect, inside of a home on the 300 block of Moon Lake Road, on Friday June 13.

Sheriff Steve Wilson described how the tragic situation unfolded:

She was leading through the front door to try to apprehend the suspect, he fired a shot, killing the canine and also wounding the deputy Donnie Brown in the neck and face.

Tanja was killed and her handler, Deputy Sheriff Donnie Brown, sustained superficial face and neck wounds.

According to the Times Free Press, the suspect was located and arrested approximately two hours later.

Funds to buy Tanja a bulletproof vest, which may have saved her life, arrived shortly after she was killed. Sheriff Wilson has indicated that a memorial service will be held to honor Tanja's life and service.

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