Portland Shootout: Police Dog Killed, Officer Injured

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Can there be anything worse than losing your best friend and partner in a criminal pursuit? A police dog was shot and killed on Wednesday after his partner officer gave him the sic command.

A Portland, Oregon, police dog went after a burglary suspect and was fatally shot while his handler was wounded.

The officer told his K-9 partner to "Take that suspect!" and a shootout began, police Chief Mike Reese said.

The officer, who was assigned to the K9 unit, is being treated for non life-threatening injuries at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, where he is "in good spirits", said Sgt. Pete Simpson, a Portland police spokesman, The Oregonian reported.

Police spotted three people coming out of a uniform shop that looked suspicious, and chased them, Reese said. The chase ended when the suspects' SUV crashed into a utility pole.

Reese wasn't sure how many rounds the officers fired, but witnesses reported hearing seven or eight shots.

One witness, a woman who lives on Southwest Primrose Street, was startled awake about 3 am by gunfire.

“It sounded close,” she said. “I think I heard more than five shots. First one-two, then some rapid gunfire. It sounded like an automatic.”

Shortly after hearing the shots she received several alerts including a text that read: “Active tactical police incident involving an armed gunman in the neighborhood. Stay inside. Police are actively searching yards on foot."

All three suspects are in custody, one of the suspects gave a police officer quite a run - it took the officer three hours to catch him after searching around a southwest Portland neighborhood.

The officer's K9, a German shepherd, initially unaccounted for, was later found beneath a bush, and the rifle used in the shootings was also found, police said. Police believe the dog may have been shot even though he was wearing protective gear at the time of the incident.

In honor of their K-9 buddy, later identified as "Mick", police vehicles formed a long line in procession to take the dog across the Willamette River to an animal hospital.

The shop that was burglarized specializes in uniforms - more specifically police, fire and other public service gear, Reese said.

The deceased dog is one of more than about 100 in Oregon who are trained to bond with their handlers, said Sgt. Rhonda Sandovalan of the Oregon Police Canine Association.

"They become part of our lives and our families," she said.

Image via Twitter: Portland Police

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