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Florida Sheriff's K-9 Fatally Shot Chasing Suspect

A Leon County Sheriff's K-9 was killed on Jan. 31 while trying to take down a robbery suspect.

The 5 1/2 year-old German shepherd named Koda was fatally shot while pursuing Carlos Cespedes, according to The Tallahassee Democrat.

Koda, a member of the sheriff's office since 2008, was transported to a local veterinary hospital where he succumbed to the injuries.

"Last night the Leon County Sheriff’s Office lost a valuable member of the agency," Sheriff Larry Campbell said in a statement. "Koda was a fearless and loyal partner. He was trained to serve and protect and that is exactly what he did."

Campbell credited Koda with protecting Deputy McMullen and other deputies from Cespedes.

The incident occurred after deputies attempted to pull over the man around 8:42 p.m. at North Magnolia Drive and Fred George Road when he fled, leading them on a chase before crashing into a ditch.

Officials said the suspect then exited the vehicle with a gun and began firing, wounding Koda.

Deputies Ron McMullen and Tyler Epstein returned fire, hitting Cespedes in the head.

The man was transported to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, where he was treated for his injuries.

After he is released, he will be transported to Leon County Jail.

None of the deputies were injured in the shooting.

Cespedes had three active warrants, including attempted first degree murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm from a vehicle.

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