A police dog was shot on Sunday night during a confrontation at Gene C. Reid Park in Tucson, Arizona. An armed man was also shot during the incident.
Police dog shot in Tucson park
According to Tuscon.com, police responded to a call around 8:30 p.m. in the southern section of the park at East 22nd St. and South Country Club Road. There was reportedly an “adult male in crisis” on the scene, per a news release from the police department on Monday.
The man told police he had a gun. Patrol officers descended on the park to help, as did mental health professionals and hostage negotiators. All parties tried to de-escalate the man. However, multiple 911 calls indicate that gunfire ensued instead.
Authorities and personnel in the area evacuated. Then, a SWAT team came in.
Unfortunately, a police dog got loose at one point during the ordeal. Police and the gunman began firing. The police dog and the suspect were both shot.
The police dog survived. The release stated that the dog was in stable condition at an animal hospital. As for the suspect, he was treated for life-threatening injuries at the hospital.
An investigation into the ordeal is underway by the Pima Regional Critical Incident Team. Authorities will also conduct an internal probe. These are standard procedures when an officer is involved in a shooting.
K-9s receive extensive training and assist officers in a wide variety of tasks, from apprehending suspects to detecting narcotics and explosives. Despite their vital contributions to the safety of society, they often face grave dangers in the line of duty.
K-9s undertake incredible risks to protect our communities. Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks the number of fatalities of police officers and K-9s annually, lists 16 canine deaths in the line of duty so far this year. The number of K-9s wounded while serving and protecting is, undeniably, much higher.
One of the ways you can help support these brave four-legged friends is to consider adopting a retired police dog.