JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 17-year-old accused of shooting and killing a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office K-9 during a police chase pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Jhamel Paskel is being prosecuted as an adult on charges of killing a police dog, armed burglary, two counts of kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a juvenile delinquent.
Paskel is being held without bound and will be back in court Nov. 1.
According to police, Paskel, who was wearing a camo mask and carrying a black handgun, approached two women sitting in a red four-door sedan at a gas pump at the 7-Eleven on Lem Turner Road and made one of them drive as he held her at gunpoint.
Amanda Gears said she was in the driver's seat.
"He pulled a gun out and told me to drive -- 'drive normal,'" Gears said. "We went down a dark road away from streetlights."
A short distance later, police said, Paskel ordered the women out of the car and kept driving.
The car had OnStar, which allowed police to track the vehicle. As officers chased the car, OnStar shut off the engine at Interstate 10 and Cecil Commerce Center Parkway -- about 18 miles away from the gas station.
According to Sheriff's Office Lt. Craig Waldrup, at that point, Paskel got out of the car. As he ran away, one of the officers released his K-9, Fang.
Police said Paskel fatally shot Fang with a 9mm handgun and continued running into a wooded area, where was taken down by another K-9 and his officer.
According to state of Florida statutes, killing a law enforcement K-9 is a third-degree felony charge that carries a prison sentence of up to five years.
Fang was about 3 years old and had been working with the officer for about two years.