Fugitive and police dog killed in shooting

(Photo courtesy of Herriman Police Department) K9 officer Hondo was shot and killed in the line of duty on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020.

Federal marshals shot and killed a man late Thursday night who was wanted in connection with a North Ogden homicide last week. Herriman police dog Hondo was also killed in Thursday’s encounter in downtown Salt Lake City.

According to North Ogden police, the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team were helping them find Brian Francis Filion, who was wanted in connection to the Feb. 8 death of 29-year-old Dalton Wood in North Ogden. The marshals said they encountered Filion around 11:45 p.m., Thursday and Filion ran. Herriman Officer Ben Ricks then sent his K9 after him.

“When the K-9 approached, the suspect pulled out a firearm,” the marshals wrote in a statement. “Officers engaged the suspect, and the suspect was shot and killed.”

It’s unclear whether Hondo was killed in crossfire from the marshals or by Filion, marshal Matthew Harris said in an interview.

“The USMS sends its deepest sympathy to the Herriman Police Department on the death of its beloved K-9 and our task force colleague Hondo," Harris said in the written statement. “Hondo was a warrior, and due to Hondo’s heroic actions, the lives of his human partners were likely saved today.”

Salt Lake City police are investigating the shooting, Harris said.

During a news conference on Friday, Herriman Police Chief Troy Carr said Hondo’s handler Ricks, is “heartbroken” and mourns the loss of a “tremendous K9 and friend.”

Hondo was a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois, that, during his career, helped in more than 100 felony arrests. He also was a part of the 2014 team that took first place in the world international police dog trials.

In an emotional tribute, Carr praised Hondo for his courage and loyalty to his handler.

“PSD Hondo was a true warrior and his actions last night assured that his loving friend and partner Ben would be able to return home to his wife, children and his HPD family,” Carr said. “We mourn the loss of a member of our family but we honor his sacrifice.”

Funeral arrangements for Hondo are being handled by Ricks and his family and the details were not available Friday.

Herriman Lt. Cody Stromberg confirmed Hondo was not wearing a bullet-resistant vest when he was killed.

Three people have been arrested in the shooting death of Wood, North Ogden police have said. Wood was found just after midnight on Feb. 8, wounded in the street near 400 East and 1700 North.

Thursday’s shooting is unrelated to a Monday shootout with Salt Lake City police that occurred just a few blocks away. In that shooting, police say the suspect shot an officer in the leg and then shot himself in the face after shooting and killing his girlfriend.