Grand Prairie officer opts for K-9 take down of armed suspect instead of using lethal force

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GRAND PRAIRIE -- You've seen the videos: Officers with their guns out, pointed at a suspect. In the video released by the Grand Prairie Police Department, you can hear officers yelling, "He has a gun!" and "Drop the weapon!"

For K-9 Officer Jeff Payne, it was a matter of life or death. "I see him get out of the car, and my first thought was 'I'm about to get shot.' He's out of the car well before I am. He's already taken the stance. He's already pointing at me," Payne said.

Thankfully, that didn't happen. Instead, Payne made the ismportant realization that the guy who led him on a high speed chase was just pretending to hold a gun. Instead, Payne sent in Jurek, his K-9 partner, to tackle the man and protect his fellow officers.

The man had a flashlight in his hand, not a gun. He did, however, have a knife.

Police Chief Steve Dye said deadly or lethal force would have been justified in this case. "If I respond to that scene, and we use deadly force and we shot and killed that suspect, that would've been a reasonable use of that force," Dye said. "We have to make those decisions as those events are unfolding, and we don't always have the ability to go and reflect based on a video."

Both Dye and Payne said these types of situations should be looked at on a case by case basis and emphasize that no incident is going to be just like this one.

It's definitely the type of good news we like to hear about, especially when it comes to these types of situations.

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