Auburn, Ala. police officer who was shot reunited with K9 partner in hospital

Auburn Police Officer Webb Sistrunk was reunited with his K9 partner, Leon, at Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital on Wednesday, May 22. (Source: Piedmont Columbus Regional)

LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA/Gray News) - An Auburn police officer who was critically injured in a triple-shooting Sunday night continues to improve at a Columbus, Georgia hospital.

Wednesday, the Auburn Police Department said Officer Webb Sistrunk has improved from ICU and is now in critical care at Columbus Regional Medical Center.

“The Sistrunk family thanks everyone for their continued prayers for our officer,” a statement released by the police department said, “and asks that you keep the Buechner and Elliott families in your prayers as well.”

Sistrunk had a special visitor Wednesday in his hospital room.

Family, fellow officers and hospital staff arranged for Sistrunk’s K9 partner, Leon, to visit his hospital room, according to Jessica Word Roberts with the hospital.

Leon was with Sistrunk during the shooting but wasn’t injured. Photos show Leon excitedly licking Sistrunk’s face.

Sistrunk was shot in the right shoulder during a domestic violence call, causing critical injuries that required he be flown to Columbus.

Fellow officers Evan Elliott and William Buechner were also struck. While Elliott was treated for a gunshot wound to the arm and released, Buechner’s injuries were fatal.

A GoFundMe account has also been set up for each of the officers and their families.

-- Officer Sistrunk’s GoFundMe
-- Officer Buechner’s Memorial GoFundMe
-- Officer Evan Elliott’s GoFundMe

“Officer Sistrunk is an eight year veteran of the Auburn Police Division and is a K-9 Officer,” APD said. “Leon was with Officer Sistrunk during this incident, but was not injured. Leon’s third birthday is coming up in July and his favorite toy is a tennis ball.”

The man police say is responsible for the shooting, 29-year-old Grady Wayne Wilkes, was arrested Monday morning following an overnight manhunt. He’s charged with one count of capital murder, three counts of attempted murder, and one count of second-degree domestic violence. He’s being held without bond.

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