HEMET (CBSLA) — A Hemet K-9 officer is being hailed a hero Sunday after helping foil an early-morning robbery even after being hit by a truck.
CBS2’s Greg Mills says Duke is okay and home recuperating.
Security video captured the moment when police cars raced into a shopping center at Florida and Yale.
They were responding to a burglary alarm going off at a business.
Hemet Police said they saw two burglars. One ran off with Officer Duke giving chase.
Another suspect ran into a gray truck.
“We heard some cars screeching. Some glass.I don’t know if the car hit something or if the car hit somebody,” said witness Jed Green.
Turns out to have been both. The truck slammed into a police cruiser and hit Duke as he was chasing after the other suspect.
Duke and his officer handler, Andrew Reynoso, competed in a K-9 competition with Duke winning first place in the category “police protection.”
This morning, he more than earned that award.
After being hit by the truck, he continued to chase the other suspect and eventually caught up to him and took him down.
The suspect was hospitalized to treat several dog bites.
When the other suspect, driving the vehicle, reportedly took aim at police and Duke, the officer opened fire.
“We heard a few shots at first,” Green said.
It was a wild scene, Green said.
“One person was saying ‘Help me, help me.’ I don’t know if it was a a person on the ground, or it it was the police,” Green said.
The suspect driving the vehicle was also hospitalized with gunshot wounds. He is expected to survive.
Duke was taken to the vet where he was also treated for his wounds.