ANDERSON, South Carolina -- An Anderson County Sheriff's K-9 died Wednesday after being shot and wounded in an ambush attack while tracking two suspects Tuesday night.
Deputies attempted to stop a vehicle for reckless driving on Clemson Boulevard around 10:30 p.m., but the suspects drove away, according to WYFF-TV.
Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride told reporters that the pursuit was determined to be too dangerous and was called off. The suspects later crashed into the back of a taxi in the city of Anderson, exited the vehicle and ran.
Deputies brought K-9 Roscoe to track down the suspects and were coming up a hill when they were ambushed in the Lowe's parking lot on Clemson Boulevard, McBride said. Deputies returned fire and one of the suspects, identified as 21-year-old Bryan Keith Hamilton Jr., was fatally wounded. The other suspect, a woman, was also shot and flown from the scene by a medical helicopter.
Roscoe, a 3-year-old German shepherd who joined the department in 2017, was shot and taken to a veterinary hospital where he died Wednesday morning.
"This could have been a lot worse. So, my heart is pounding right now," McBride told reporters. "I can't find the words. I know it's just the scariest moments for these guys. Our law enforcement officers really have a dangerous job and put themselves in harm's way and had no idea as they were coming up the ridge that they were going to be fired upon multiple times."
Roscoe was nationally certified in narcotics detection, criminal apprehension and tracking.