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Duluth officer justified in firing at suspect who killed police dog

DULUTH — A Duluth police officer was justified in returning fire on a man who wounded a fellow officer and killed a police dog in January, St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin announced Wednesday, March 13.

Officer Dale Marcus, a 20-year veteran, fired a single round in response to seven shots from 27-year-old domestic-assault suspect Taylor Joseph Turek, Rubin said in a report. Marcus’ shot did not strike Turek, who was determined to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

K-9 Haas, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, was killed after he was struck in the chest by two bullets. His handler, officer Aaron Haller, was struck in the Kevlar vest protecting his midsection.

“This is a tragic situation with the only good thing coming out of it being the fact that Officer Haller’s life was probably saved by his bulletproof vest,” Rubin wrote in a three-page memorandum.

The incident was investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and turned over to Rubin for legal review last month.

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