JONESBORO, Ark. – Last month, an officer-involved shooting happened at a shooting range, with one officer shooting another’s K-9 after it engaged him. Ten days later, and after our reporting and a Freedom of Information Act request, the Jonesboro Police Department has released the first details about the incident.
In the response, JPD Public Information Specialist Sally Smith said it is not policy to release information on a pending internal investigation, but it was “being provided” anyway.
It is not our policy to release information on a pending Internal Affairs investigation, but per your FOIA request on May 9, 2019, the following information is being provided regarding the incident you are inquiring.
On Tuesday, April 30, 2019, an incident occurred during the Annual Qualification Training at the Craighead County Sheriff’s Range. K-9 handler Jason Myers and his partner, K-9 Rocket, were on the parking lot at the range, to give his dog a break. After the dog exited the vehicle, gun fire started on the range. The K-9 was not leashed and responded, as he is extensively trained to perform, and ran towards the area where the shots were fired. Sgt. John Porbeck heard the approaching dog and recall commands, by the handler, and observed the dog running at full speed towards him. The dog attempted to engage Sgt. Porbeck, to which he was able to dodge, however, the dog began to engage again when Sgt. Porbeck proceeded to fire his weapon and the bullet struck Rocket.
Rocket did not sustain life threatening injures and was taken immediately to Animal Medical Center. Surgery was performed and he was released the next day. He is expected to make a complete recovery and will return to duty with no long term effects. Costs for his care have not been submitted by Animal Medical Center.
Chief Elliott has requested the Internal Affairs division to conduct a full investigation in this matter and has not been completed at this time.
There is no incident report, bodycam footage or surveillance footage. Currently six of the 7 K-9’s are on duty.
Sally Smith, JPD Public Information Specialist
NEA Report will continue to investigate.