'He did his job.' K-9 dead, suspect injured after shootout outside Palm Beach County mall
WELLINGTON, Florida -- A K-9 deputy was shot and killed and a suspect was wounded outside The Mall at Wellington Green Monday afternoon in a shootout with a known gang member, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies were at the mall around 5 p.m. Christmas Eve after receiving information that at least one person was there who was wanted in an attempted murder that happened a couple weeks ago at a Palm Beach County bar, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said.
The person, who was not identified was with someone else and met up with a third person, who according to Bradshaw was a known member of the Latin Kings gang.
Deputies secured an area of the parking lot outside the mall and waited for them to come out.
“The reason we want to get them is they are dangerous people,” Bradshaw said.
When they moved in to confront the group, the third person who they had met up with took off running, Bradshaw said. Officers were able to take the other two — one of whom was the suspect in the attempted murder — into custody.
Meanwhile, K-9 Cigo pursued the man on the run.
“He turned, shot the dog, the dog was still able make it to him,” Bradshaw said. “In the meantime, he’s firing back at the deputies.”
The department said that the suspect shot at officers and struck a K-9. Deputies returned fire and hit the suspect, the department said.
“He is at the hospital,” Bradshaw said. “He is not deceased yet. He is pretty well wounded.”
The K-9 was taken to the veterinarian emergency center, but did not make it through surgery.
“The dog is deceased, but he did his job,” Bradshaw said. “Saved those deputies’ lives.”
The mall was shut down for several hours for the investigation.
“We got two very dangerous people off the street,” Bradshaw said. “Unfortunately it took the life of one of our dogs.”
©2018 Miami Herald
Visit Miami Herald at www.miamiherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.