A 35-year-old Missouri man who killed a state police dog died hours after being shot by officers in a gunfight, authorities said Tuesday.
According to a news release from Arkansas State Police, James Edward Blackmon of St. Louis was stopped by troopers shortly before 7 p.m. Monday on Interstate 55 in Mississippi County after his vehicle was identified as one that was sought by Missouri authorities.
When Blackmon ran, two troopers and a Mississippi County sheriff's deputy chased him, the release states. Arkansas State Police spokeswoman Liz Chapman said the chase happened near Luxora. Eventually, a trooper released a police dog, who caught up with the Missouri man, authorities said.
Blackmon fired at the dog, Hemi, killing it, according to the agency. He then began shooting at the troopers and deputies, who returned fire, the release states.
He was caught at 7:11 p.m. and taken to a nearby hospital, where he died Tuesday morning, police said. His body will be taken to the state Crime Lab.
Hemi, a 6-year-old Dutch shepherd, had been with state police since 2013, Chapman said.
On Twitter, the agency shared a picture of the dog and wrote: "Rest easy hero, we will miss you!”
Two troopers have been placed on paid leave, Arkansas State Police said. Chapman said it is policy for troopers at the scene of an officer-involved shooting to be placed on leave. The results of an investigation will be given to the Mississippi County prosecuting attorney to determine if the use of deadly force was warranted.
The Mississippi County sheriff’s office declined to identify the deputy but said he had been placed on paid leave, per the agency's policy.