LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A Long Beach police dog was killed Tuesday in the line of duty by friendly fire.
Around 9 a.m., a U.S. Marshals Task Force member spotted a man wanted for a December 2014 shooting involving multiple victims in Long Beach.
When Task Force members confronted the man in the area of 16th Street and Temple Avenue, he ran into an acquaintance’s apartment in the 2800 block of East 15th Street.
The Long Beach SWAT team immediately surrounded the building and evacuated nearby residents.
Officers ordered the man to come out of the apartment. He did and “began to aggressively charge the officers, intermediate force options were deployed, including a 40mm rubber baton round and a Police Service dog attached to S.W.A.T.,” according to a police news release.
As Credo, the police dog, tried to stop the man from advancing toward officers, he pulled out a knife. That was when one officer opened fire, hitting the suspect and the canine, the release said.
After the shooting, Credo’s handler, Officer Mike Parcells, carried his four-legged partner’s limp body from the scene and drove him to a nearby veterinary hospital, where the canine was declared dead.
Parcells was visibly shaken and upset. He ripped off his helmet and hurled it away before burying his head in his hands.
Around 12:30 p.m., Long Beach police tweeted that the dog had died.
Dozens of officers saluted as Credo’s flag-draped body was carried out of Signal Hill Pet Hospital and placed into a police K-9 unit.
No officers were hurt.
The suspect was taken to a hospital, where he also died.
“These service dogs, these canines are not just dogs. These are police officers. This dog was injured in the performance of his duty. And that’s going to weigh heavily on the Long Beach police family,” Long Beach police Deputy Chief Richard Conant said.
According to police, Credo was a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois who served the department for two years with Parcells.
Conant said Credo worked patrol and narcotics operations primarily and was involved in more than 30 arrests.
Parcells, who has been with the department for more than 20 years, also lost a police dog partner in 2005.
Ranger, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, was fatally shot Oct. 2, 2005 while police tried to flush an armed parolee from a hiding spot under a porch.