Portland Shootout Leaves K-9 Dead, Officer Wounded

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A police dog sent after a robbery suspect was killed during a shootout in Portland, Oregon Wednesday morning, and the K-9 unit handler was wounded.

The incident began after police observed three men exiting a uniform shop, which lead to a vehicle pursuit. The chase ended when the suspects crashed their SUV into a utility pole. The suspects and police exchanged fire, and officer Jeff Dorn was wounded in both legs. "Mick," a dog who had recently joined the K-9 unit, was later found dead under a hedge in a yard.

In a statement, Officer Dorn, a 16-year veteran, said that "Mick saved my life," after the officer had told the dog to "Take that suspect!" Portland Police Chief Mike Reese said that the shootout ensued shortly after Dorn sicced Mick on the three men.

Three suspects are now in custody, including one authorities had been tracking through southwest Portland neighborhoods for roughly three hours. That suspect was injured during the incident, and was transported to a local hospital.

The Portland PD was initially unable to locate Mick after the shootout, and used Twitter to put the word out:

Sadly, Mick was located with apparent gunshot wounds:

Police dogs are specially trained for duties including searching for drugs and explosives, searching for missing people, sniffing out crime scene evidence and protecting their handlers. The most commonly used breed is the German Shepherd, although Belgian Malinois are also employed. John Reese, the protagonist in the CBS crime drama Person of Interest owns a Belgian Malinois named "Bear."

Police vehicles formed a procession to transport Mick across the Willamette River to an animal hospital after the shooting. Sgt. Rhonda Sandoval, an official of the Oregon Police Canine Association, commented that police dogs are trained to bond with their handlers, and that they "become part of our lives and our families."

Image via YouTube

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