PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland, Ore., police dog sicced on a burglary suspect was fatally shot early Wednesday, and his handler was wounded.
The dog died after the officer told it to "Take that suspect!" and a shootout began, police Chief Mike Reese said.
The officer is expected to survive, The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1gBdSXc) reported.
Three suspects are in custody, including one police sought for about three hours in southwest Portland neighborhoods.
The shooting began after police saw three people emerging from a uniform shop and chased them, Reese said. The chase ended when the suspects' SUV crashed into a utility pole.
Reese said he doesn't know how many rounds officers fired. Witnesses reported hearing seven or eight shots.
One of the three got away and was captured about three hours later.
The dog was initially missing in the dark but later found beneath a hedge in a yard. The rifle believed to have been used in the shootings was also found, police said.
Police identified the officer as Jeff Dorn, a 16-year veteran who was wounded in both legs, and the dog as Mick, who joined the K-9 unit recently after completing training for state certification.
"Mick saved my life," a police statement quoted Dorn as saying. It didn't elaborate.
Police vehicles formed a long line in procession to take the dog across the Willamette River to an animal hospital.
The target of the burglary was a shop that specializes in police, fire and other public service uniforms, Reese said.
The dog is one of more than about 100 in Oregon, trained to bond with their handlers, said an official of the Oregon Police Canine Association, Sgt. Rhonda Sandoval of McMinnville.
"They become part of our lives and our families," she said.
Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com