Two people are charged after K9, Coba, was shot dead as police tried to serve an arrest warrant

Four-year-old Coba joined the South Caolina Law Enforcement Division in 2021

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Thursday 13 June 2024 22:09 BST
James Robert Peterson, 37, and Scarlett Boyd, 61, have been arrested following the fatal shooting of a K9 officer named Coba in South Carolina
James Robert Peterson, 37, and Scarlett Boyd, 61, have been arrested following the fatal shooting of a K9 officer named Coba in South Carolina (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division/ Newberry County Sheriff’s Office)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

A man and his mother have been arrested in South Carolina following the fatal shooting of a police dog as officers tried to arrest a suspect.

James Robert Peterson, 37, and Scarlett Boyd, 61, were arrested Tuesday at Boyd’s home on Gravel Road in Prosperity, South Carolina.

Officers from Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, along with the State Law Enforcement Division, along with the K9 officer – Coba – were looking for Peterson in connection with a burglary that took place last month.

Boyd told officers she had not seen her son and that he was not at the property.

But as officers spoke to Boyd, a deputy saw Peterson moving through the house from a window. Coba, his handler and a deputy entered the home and confronted Peterson in a hallway.

K9 officer Coba was shot dead in South Carolina as police tried to serve an arrest warrant
K9 officer Coba was shot dead in South Carolina as police tried to serve an arrest warrant (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division )

Peterson pulled out a gun, shooting the K9 and pointing a weapon at the team, the sheriff’s office said. Peterson was then shot and wounded, later being taken to hospital.

State officials later announced “with great sadness” that Coba had also died in the line of duty.

Peterson was charged in connection with the burglary, though his charges regarding the K9′s death are unclear at this time. His mother was charged with hindering a law enforcement officer’s serving process.

An investigation remains ongoing.

James Robert Peterson was arrested after he shot K9 officer Coba as police sought to serve him a warrant in connection with a previous burglary, police said
James Robert Peterson was arrested after he shot K9 officer Coba as police sought to serve him a warrant in connection with a previous burglary, police said (Newberry County Sheriff’s Office)

The four-year-old Coba – a Belgian Malinois mix – joined the state investigative agency in 2021. During his career, Coba served on the SWAT Team and the K9 Tracking Team.

“Coba participated in numerous trainings and apprehensions that kept communities, SLED’s law enforcement partners, and his SLED SWAT Team safe,” a statement from the force read.

The dog will be “greatly missed” the force said, adding that details regarding a memorial service would be announced in due course.

Peterson’s mother, Scarlett Boyd, was also arrested on charges of hindering law enforcement
Peterson’s mother, Scarlett Boyd, was also arrested on charges of hindering law enforcement (Newberry County Sheriff’s Office)

During his time on the force Coba served the citizens of South Carolina alongside Special Agent Richard “Cole” Powell and lived with Powell’s family.

According to the department, Coba’s death is the 20th officer-involved shooting in South Carolina this year.

Last year there were 43 officer-involved shootings in South Carolina.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in