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Police K9 shot, killed in pursuit of fugitive in Salt Lake City

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A police K9 was shot and killed while a task force was apprehending a parole fugitive, who was also killed, in Salt Lake City just before midnight Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Herriman PD)

(UPDATE 12:47 p.m.) -- The parole fugitive shot and killed by police has been identified as Brian Francis Filion.

He was a suspect in a homicide in North Ogden earlier this month.

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) - A police K9 was shot and killed while a task force was apprehending a parole fugitive, who was also killed, in Salt Lake City just after midnight Friday.

Chief Brandon Holt, with the United States Marshal Service for Utah, said officers were searching for the fugitive.

They found the man coming from an apartment complex near 400 E. 300 South at approximately 11:45 p.m.

North Ogden Police reported that Weber Area Dispatch Center received calls regarding shots fired in the 400 East block of 1700 North. The callers reported that someone at the location was shot.

Officers responded to the scene and found a 29-year-old man in the street. North View Fire responded and transported the man to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Earlier reports stated that a suspect ran from officers and a chase ensued. A 7-year-old police K9, Hondo with the Herriman City Police Department, was released during the pursuit, according to the U.S. Marshals.

Holt said the fugitive brandished a weapon, and at least one officer fired their gun. It is unknown how many shots were fired. The man was found dead shortly after.

A press release from North Ogden Police stated that agents from the U.S. Marshalls Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team were assisting the department with locating a person of interest in a homicide case. Filion, 41, of Salt Lake City, was a person of interest in the homicide of Dalton Wood, 29, of North Ogden.

The department issued the following statement on Friday afternoon:

On behalf of the North Ogden Police Department, North Ogden City Administration, and the community of North Ogden as a whole, we thank all those involved for their assistance. We send our sincerest condolences to the Herriman City Police Department and their K9 Handler, for their loss of a true hero, K9 Hondo.

The Unified Police Department confirmed that Hondo was shot and killed in the fugitive pursuit.

"Our hearts are broken this morning after learning of the death of a Herriman City Police K9, who was shot and killed late last night while apprehending a violent fugitive," the Facebook post stated.

Our thoughts are with the entire Herriman PD family, and particularly with the K9 handler who lost his beloved partner and friend.

Herriman City Police Department clarified whether Hondo was wearing K9 body armor saying that it is available for both of the department's K9 officers. However, the application of the body armor is entirely up to the handler and is dependent upon the circumstances.

The clarification went on to explain that on an operation such as the one Hondo was involved isn't typically one where body armor would be used.

"...if the K9 is left in the body armor for an extended period of time, their body heat can cause them to become dehydrated, so they are often not wearing armor during surveillance operations. When this operation quickly evolved from surveillance into apprehension, there was not time for Sergeant Ricks to apply PSD Hondo’s body armor prior to deploying him. On a pre-planned non-dynamic operation such as a SWAT entry, the handler would outfit the K9 with their body armor prior to the service of the warrant," stated Lt. Cody Stromberg of the Herriman City Police Department.

He added, "It is not fail-proof, nor is it a fitting solution for every circumstance. Our focus is on Sergeant Ricks and his family and not on second-guessing whether or not he should have applied the body armor prior to deployment."

The Herriman City Police Department released the following statement:

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Herriman Police Department K9 Hondo, who was killed in the line of duty last night while assisting the U.S. Marshal’s Office in apprehending a dangerous fugitive.

A lot of officers were involved in the chase, but none of them were hit by the bullets, Holt said.

A woman was taken into custody, and her relationship to the crime scene is unknown at this time.

The fugitive's identity has not been released. Officials say he has a violent criminal history.

This is the second officer-involved shooting in the past week in this area of Salt Lake City.

Herriman police will be hosting a press conference regarding the deadly shooting at 3 p.m. Friday.