By Grethel Aguila
Source Miami Herald
K-9 Huk, a police dog with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, was shot three times during a confrontation that left two people dead.
The K-9 was released into a car with three armed suspects following a shootout and car crash near Jacksonville Zoo, Director Joe Cowan said at a briefing. After a suspect shot at Huk, five officers returned fire to remove the dog from the car.
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One of the suspects, who is now in the hospital, exited the vehicle and surrendered, Cowan said. The other two suspects died, Cowan said, but their cause of death is not determined.
A report identified the two dead suspects as De’Shaun Lockett and Tyjarius Holton, both of whom police say were still holding guns. Robert Motley, the suspect who surrendered, appeared in court on Saturday and was charged with possession of methamphetamines.
Huk was airlifted to First Coast Veterinary Emergency in Jacksonville Beach. He had surgery and is in stable condition.
In a series of Facebook posts, the vet hospital shared that Huk suffered orthopedic injuries as well as soft tissue injuries to the neck, hind end and wrist. He has been able to eat and rest comfortably while on pain medications.
Huk was also able to enjoy some fresh air outdoors, the vet hospital said. He’s in good spirits but doesn’t enjoy wearing a cone.
As people awaited updates, many across the state took to social media to show their support for the K-9 and his handler. K9s United, a nonprofit that provides equipment and training for K-9 officers, shared a statement from Huk’s handler, who isn’t being identified under Florida’s Marcy’s law, which protects crime victims.
“To the community and LE K-9 Supporters, thank you all for the outpouring of love, prayers, and well wishes,” the handler wrote. “Huk is doing good all things considered. He’s not completely out of the woods yet, so please keep praying. My family and I can not thank you enough for everything. We will do our best to keep you all updated as he continues to progress in his recovery.”
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