WEST COVINA (CBSLA.com) — A police dog wounded by a murder suspect Sunday was expected to make a full recovery and return to duty, officials said Monday.
K-9 officer Reiko, a 2-year-old German Shepard, was shot by a murder suspect around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, the West Covina Police Department said.
The incidents leading up to the shooting began at 11:11 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene in the 1400 block of W. Badillo, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
Police officers responded to scene and discovered the body of a man outside the church.
A witness described a possible suspect and told police he fled the scene westbound on foot.
A man matching that description was found with the help of a police helicopter on the roof of a home in the 1500 block of East Elgenia Street, authorities said.
When police arrived, the suspect jumped off the roof onto the driveway and officers deployed Reiko.
“As the dog was approaching the suspect, a shot was fired by the suspect towards the dog and the officers. The shot apparently struck the dog,” West Covina police Corporal Rudy Lopez said.
Police returned fire and fatally shot the unidentified suspect.
Reiko was taken in stable condition to Animal Specialty Group in Los Angeles where he underwent surgery.
“The bullet apparently entered his left shoulder, traveled across his neck to the top of his back where it lodged under the skin,” Dr. Steve Bilbrey said.
The bullet was removed with a small incision and Reiko was expected to make a full recovery and return to full duty.
“He is uncomfortable, but he is fine,” he added. “He is stable. He is able to walk, but it quite sore in his left front leg and neck area and probably will be over the next few days.”
Reiko is expected to leave the animal hospital by Thanksgiving, officials said.
No West Covina police officers were injured in either shooting.
The LASD was assisting in the investigation.