Gun dog takes the lead

A police dog handler who wrestled a man with a gun to the ground in a busy shopping area has been awarded a Chief Constable's Commendation. In 2004, PC Richard Friend was on patrol with his police dog, Taz, when he received a report of a man with a handg

A police dog handler who wrestled a man with a gun to the ground in a busy shopping area has been awarded a Chief Constable's Commendation. In 2004, PC Richard Friend was on patrol with his police dog, Taz, when he received a report of a man with a handgun in Dolphin Square, Weston. When he arrived he started to make the area safe by stopping people leave buildings or entering the area until back-up arrived.Firearms officers then asked the man to put the gun down, but he refused and started to walk towards them and PC Friend, who continued to keep members of the public inside nearby shops. When the man brought the gun up to a firing position he was shot by officers, but despite first falling against a shop window, he continued to walk towards PC Friend. PC Friend set his dog loose on the man, then grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground before kicking the gun away to a safe distance.He said: "It is nice for Taz and I to be recognised for this award. However, I must say that it was a team effort by every officer involved that ensured a safe and effective conclusion to the incident."Superintendent Adrian Coombs said: "This was outstandingly brave action which probably prevented a fatal shooting incident."The gunman was arrested for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.


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