Officer’s split-second decision spares suspect

Video courtesy Grand Prairie Police

A split-second decision by veteran K-9 officer Jeff Payne spared a suspect from being shot and possibly killed after he displayed what was thought to be a gun following a pursuit by officers.

On January 20 around 8 pm, police attempted to stop a vehicle in the 2400 block of West Jefferson on a traffic violation.

The vehicle slowed, then accelerated at a high rate of speed away from the officer. The suspect continued to evade police for several miles until it drove into a cul-de-sac where the vehicle stopped, the driver exited the car, assumed a shooting stance and pointed what appeared to be a gun at the officer.

Although it was dark, Officer Payne was able to tell the suspect was not holding a firearm and deployed his K-9 partner Jurek instead of shooting the suspect. The suspect was taken into custody with minor injuries.

Officers determined the suspect was holding a small light, window punch and knife.

“This video exemplifies the difficult environment of policing and the split second decisions that our police officers, across the nation, must make on a routine basis,” Police Chief Steve Dye said. “It is apparent this suspect was enticing the officers to shoot him.”

“Under these circumstances, I believe it would have been reasonable for the officers to use deadly force based on all perceived factors,” Chief Dye said. “However, as a result of their high level of training and awareness, they were able to instantaneously determine the suspect was not holding a firearm and our K-9 Officer immediately deployed his K-9 partner allowing our officers to successfully bring this tense situation to a safe conclusion. “