Charges stick after court challenge from teen accused of shooting police K-9

Gwinnett County police Cpl. Aaron Carlyle pets K-9 Kai, who was shot multiple times during an domestic-related incident May 23. Kai was released from North Georgia Veterinary Specialists in Buford on Tuesday, June 14.

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Gwinnett County police Cpl. Aaron Carlyle pets K-9 Kai, who was shot multiple times during an domestic-related incident May 23. Kai was released from North Georgia Veterinary Specialists in Buford on Tuesday, June 14.

Suspect’s lawyer suggests Gwinnett police dog was injured by friendly fire

The criminal case against a 17-year-old accused of shooting a Gwinnett County police dog last month will move forward with all charges intact after a hearing Wednesday, court officials said.

Levi Kennedy Bryan, of Oakwood, appeared for a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning, during which his defense attorney suggested K-9 officer Kai may have fallen victim to friendly fire from other officers. Despite the attorney’s contentions, a magistrate court judge advanced Bryan’s roster of charges, which will now be considered by the Gwinnett district attorney, a court clerk confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The judge did not set bond for Bryan’s most serious charges, which include two counts of aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer. Those allegations against the teen will stand for now as he awaits the district attorney’s consideration behind bars.

Bryan has been locked up at the Gwinnett County jail since June 2, when he was released from the hospital.

He faces a myriad of charges tied to the May 23 shootout with Gwinnett County police that left K-9 Kai wounded. The 2-year-old patrol and narcotics dog is recovering and could return to duty at some point, police said.

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Bryan’s other charges include aggravated assault, harming a law enforcement animal, first-degree burglary, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a pistol or revolver by a person under 18.

The GBI is investigating the incident as an officer-involved shooting.

Police began searching for Bryan the night of the shooting following reports he showed up at his girlfriend’s home along Pine Lane and threatened her and others with a gun, according to the GBI.

The teen fled when police were called, and a helicopter and K-9 units were asked to assist in the search. When authorities found Bryan in a wooded area not far from the Pine Lane home, he fired at officers and struck K-9 Kai twice, GBI officials said. Officers returned fire and critically injured Bryan.

Kai was struck in the chest and hindquarters and was treated at North Georgia Veterinary Specialists in Buford. The dog was released from the animal hospital last week.

A prosecutor told the judge during Wednesday’s hearing that eight to 10 gunshots could be heard on a video recording near the scene, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Explore17-year-old accused of shooting Gwinnett K-9 due in court next week

A GBI investigator testified that evidence indicates Bryan fired the first volley of bullets and police returned fire. The investigator said Bryan admitted to pulling the trigger at least once and told agents he couldn’t recall exactly how many shots he fired, because he was under the influence of Xanax pills at the time, according to Channel 2.

Maryann Blend, the Lawrenceville attorney representing Bryan, said it appears K-9 Kai got caught in the crossfire, and she didn’t rule out the possibility that police fired the shots that struck the patrol dog.

“It sounds like the dog was basically between Levi and the officers, and where those bullets came from, and which weapon, they just haven’t made that determination yet,” she said, according to the news station.