Conviction In High-Speed Pursuit That Ended In AST K-9’s Death

Helo was killed during an Alaska State Troopers pursuit of a suspect in 2016. (ALASKA STATE TROOPERS).

Those of who have read my editors’ notes will realize what a dog lover I am, despite the recent despicable behavior of my couch-destroying pup, Emma. (not pictured: my destroyed couch)

The editor’s devil dog, Emma.

But on a serious note, an Alaska court convicted a Wasila man for attempted murder and other charges stemming from a 2016 Alaska State Troopers pursuit in Palmer. During the incident, an AST K-9 officer named Helo was killed.

KTUU has more: 

According to prosecutors in Palmer, Almando Abarca, 27, was found guilty on Wednesday afternoon for his crimes on Sept. 25, 2016. At that time, Palmer Police officers initially tried to pull Abarca over for faulty rail lights. He did not stop.

Instead, according to Alaska State Troopers, Abarca sped off, leading to a high speed chase. He eventually abandoned his vehicle, which was still moving and in drive, and ran on foot into some nearby woods. That’s when, prosecutors say, the shooting started.

A K-9 officer named Helo, a Belgian Malinois, was deployed to apprehend Abarca. Instead, Abarca opened fire, striking Helo with multiple bullets, killing him. He also reportedly shot at the officers, hence the attempted murder charges.

At that point, officers with Palmer PD fired back at Abarca, striking him once in the shoulder. Eventually, Abarca gave himself up and was arrested.

Abarca will be sentenced later in the spring.