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WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Global outcry is building over the fatal shooting of a K-9 in Palm Beach County. Meanwhile, prosecutors are asking why high-tech tracking did not stop the now-accused juvenile offender before it was too late.
Drake, a retired police dog, was shot while his owner, a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, was away from his home. Newly released documents from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office detail what may have happened the night of November 18. Days after the incident, Drake died.
Now, questions remain about the suspect, a 16-year-old boy, accused of armed burglary and animal cruelty. "The greatest thing was, he's got an ankle monitor," said PBSO Det. Philip DeMola last week, as investigators revealed that the suspect was already on probation and was wearing an ankle monitoring device. "It showed all the pinpoint; everything all around the house, all inside the house," said DeMola.
The Department of Juvenile Justice is now looking into whether 3M, the company contracted to electronically track the suspect, took all of the appropriate steps to just that.
As the investigation into what happened and the decisions about what will happen continue on the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office is being inundated with messages about this case from all around the world.
Phone calls, mail and e-mails are being sent in large numbers to the office. One of those messages was sent from Laura Scharlow, of Illinois. "The violence, damage and heartbreak around the world that they have already caused calls for nothing less," wrote Scharlow. "Drake's soul cries out for justice. Please do not let his death be in vain."
Samuel Miller heads up the State Attorney's Office Animal Cruelty Unit. "This animal used to work in public service, public safety and protect people and he was murdered for no reason," said Miller.
A decision should be made by next week if the teen suspect should be charged as an adult. "In your mind, you have to be aware of that, just to be able to consider that to make an intelligent decision." Miller said that Drake's owner, Trooper Bobby Broody remained distraught.
According to Florida law, electronic monitoring devices for juveniles provide a 24-hour alert and tracking ability if home detention is broken.
When the alert is triggered, the monitor company tries to call the juvenile to find out what is happening. If the phne call is unanswered, a juvenile probation officer is alerted and tries to make phone contact. If that does not occur, an officer is sent to physically locate the juvenile.