HEMET (CBSLA.com) — An armed man accused of killing a police dog was fatally shot by deputies, officials said Thursday.
The suspect, only identified as a wanted felon, was killed after a 9-hour standoff with Riverside County deputies.
The suspect had barricaded himself around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday underneath a home in the 40200 block of Clark Drive on the border of Hemet and San Jacinto.
Authorities called in a San Jacinto Police K-9 handler and his partner, Sultan, to assist in the standoff.
During the situation the Shepherd mix altered deputies to a crawl space underneath the residence.
“Due to the confined space K9 Sultan was sent in to determine if the suspect was hiding,” Dep. Albert Martinez said in a statement. “Moments later an indistinguishable noise was heard and K9 Sultan returned from the crawl space with an injury to his neck.”
The dog was immediately taken to local veterinarian hospital where he died.
The suspect refused to come out of the crawl space and SWAT was called in.
“In an attempt to have the suspect surrender peacefully, SWAT personnel deployed tear gas. Shortly thereafter, the suspect emerged from underneath the residence armed with a handgun and a deputy involved shooting occurred,” Dep. Martinez said.
The man died at the scene around midnight. No deputies were injured in the standoff.
Sultan’s death was the first time a K-9 officer had been killed in the line of duty in Riverside County.
He began his service with the San Jacinto Police Department in 2013 and was regarded as the force’s top K-9.
“What an amazing, amazing dog,” Mayor Crystal Ruis said. “He’s made several arrests for us. He was the pride and joy of our station. It’s awful, that’s one of our officers that’s been killed, so it’s not good.”