Police dog shot during SWAT standoff

Posted at: 03/21/2014 6:56 AM
Updated at: 03/21/2014 6:08 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Dog owner and nearby resident, Kathy Morrison, came to the scene on Alemeda and San Pedro wanting to know about Rico the APD police dog.

“He said he was one of their young ones they were hoping for the best for him as I am," Morrison said.

APD says the owners of a towing company on San Pedro called 911 around 2:45 a.m. about a possible burglary.

When officers got there they found the suspect barricaded inside.

A K-9 unit was sent in. That's when police say the man started shooting.

The dog was hit several times. Police say when they finally searched the area they found the man dead.

They think he may have killed himself. APD says they did not fire their weapons and there are no other suspects.

The dog was rushed to the veterinarian for emergency surgery.

“Those dogs go home with them (K-9 officers) at night so it's a personal thing for the K-9 unit to have one of their dogs shot,” said Simon Drobik with APD.

“I’d be very upset,” said Morrison, “Extremely upset if it were my dog.”

Nearby businesses had to open later than usual until the investigation was over.

“We were concerned,” said Deborah Madrid said, “We did a whole thorough check at our own place.”

As for neighbors like Kathy Morrison, she says her heart goes out to Rico's law enforcement family.

“You get a real close attachment to them and I'm sure the officer who has them home with his family has an attachment to him too,” she said.

APD has been tweeting updates.

Earlier Friday afternoon, ‏@ABQPOLICE tweeted: “Rico is out of surgery & stable. He has sustained massive trauma. His handler is by his side.”