BSO K9 shot, killed after being mistaken for coyote

PARKLAND, Fla. (WSVN) – A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy’s police dog was fatally shot after his neighbor mistook him for a coyote.

BSO Sgt. Ian Sklar and his K9, Pedro, lived in the Parkland neighborhood. Pedro was just 4 years old when, officials said, he was shot and killed on May 14.

Sklar’s neighbor thought his father was being attacked by a wild coyote. Neighbors say coyotes are known to be in the area, and the neighbor acted in self-defense.

“It all happened at the same time,” said neighbor Tisha Hallet. “The police cars, the helicopters, the gunshots. Very bizarre.”

Less than a mile away, just before 11 p.m., Pedro escaped from his handler’s house.

The German shepherd, according to BSO, was chasing after an animal.

“It seems odd that a police dog would break away,” said neighbor Norman Hallet. “You know, they’re highly trained animals, but I guess it does happen.”

When Sklar realized Pedro was missing, he alerted dispatch and went out looking for him. By then, it was already around 10:30 p.m. and was dark out. “There are no street lights here that I know of,” Norman said. “It’s nice and quiet.”

While Sklar was looking for Pedro, 70-year-old Frank Degati walked out of his house and, according to the police report, the canine startled him when he jumped on him with his front paws, pushing him back.

That’s when he called out for help, because he thought it was a coyote.

“I have seen several of the coyotes,” Norman said. “They do look a lot like German shepherds. I would say that they could easily be confused. It looked like a thin, longer-legged German shepherd.”

Frank’s son, John, who lives inside the house then grabbed his legally-owned handgun, a Sig Sauer 9 mm, and went outside. The report stated that when Pedro began to walk toward John, he fired 10 rounds at him.

“I heard five shots, and her husband ran down and said, ‘Get inside,’ and she didn’t,” Tisha said. “She went outside, and she saw the dog wander to her neighbor’s house, fall over, and then the deputy covered it up.”

John later told deputies who responded that he felt bad that he shot Pedro.

That K9 officer did not bite anyone.

Pedro lived with Sklar and worked with him for about two years. Since Pedro was not killed in the line of duty, there will be no special ceremony for him.

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