Wounded Auburn Police K9 Handler Reunited With Partner

LEE COUNTY, Ala. – An Auburn police K9 handler who was critically injured in a triple-shooting Sunday night continues to improve at a Columbus, Georgia hospital.

Wednesday, the Auburn Police Department said Officer Webb Sistrunk has improved from ICU and is now in critical care at Columbus Regional Medical Center, WSFA reported.

“The Sistrunk family thanks everyone for their continued prayers for our officer,” a statement released by the police department said, “and asks that you keep the Buechner and Elliott families in your prayers as well.”

Moreover, a noteworthy event occurred Wednesday in Sistrunk’s hospital room as he had a special visitor.

K9 handler

Family, fellow officers and hospital staff arranged for injured Auburn Police Officer Webb Sistrunk’s K9 partner, Leon, to visit his hospital room. (Source: Piedmont Columbus Regional)

Family, peers and hospital staff arranged for Sistrunk’s K9 partner, Leon, to visit him, according to Jessica Word Roberts with the hospital.

Leon was with Sistrunk during the shooting but was not injured. The happy photos show Leon excitedly licking Sistrunk’s face.

K9 handler

Auburn Police K9 Handler Webb Sistrunk was reunited with his four-legged partner, Leon, at Piedmont Columbus Regional hospital today. (Source: Piedmont Columbus Regional)

Sistrunk was shot in the right shoulder during a domestic violence call. As a result, he sustained critical injuries that required he be flown to Columbus.

Fellow officers Evan Elliott and William Buechner were also hit by gunfire. While Elliott was treated for a gunshot wound to the arm and released, Buechner’s injuries were fatal.

K9 handler

Officer Evan Elliott (left); Officer William Buechner (middle); and Officer Webb Sistrunk (right) (Source: Auburn Police Department)

A GoFundMe account has also been set up for each of the officers and their families.

“Officer Sistrunk is an eight year veteran of the Auburn Police Division and is a K9 Officer,” APD said. “Leon was with Officer Sistrunk during this incident, but was not injured. Leon’s third birthday is coming up in July and his favorite toy is a tennis ball.”

Auburn police officer

Grady Wayne Wilkes, 29, has been charged with capital murder. (Source al.com)

Following an overnight manhunt, Grady Wayne Wilkes, 29, was arrested Monday morning. He has been charged with one count of capital murder, three counts of attempted murder, and one count of second-degree domestic violence. Consequently, he’s being held without bond.


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