Long Beach police are mourning the loss of K-9 patrol dog Credo, who was struck by friendly fire yesterday during a confrontation with a suspect, according to police.
The canine was identified as a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois handled by Officer Mike Parcells, who was seen crying in photos after the shooting. The department said Credo had been on duty for two years.
A U.S. Marshals Task Force looking for a suspect "in connection with an assault with a deadly weapon case" from 2014 that involved multiple victims spotted him at 16th Street and Temple Avenue about 9 a.m. Tuesday, Long Beach police spokeswoman Marlene Arrona said..
"The suspect ran into an apartment of an acquaintance, located in the 2800 block of East 15th Street," she said.
Long Beach police and a SWAT team surrounded the area and neighbors were evacuated, authorities said.
The man charged at officers, Arrona said. A 40mm rubber baton round didn't stop him, and neither did Credo, she said.
"As Credo fought with the suspect, the suspect produced a knife while continuing to advance toward officers," Arrona said. "One of the officers discharged his weapon to protect himself and the other officers from the suspect. Both the suspect and Credo were struck by gunfire."
The suspect was pronounced dead at an area hospital, police said.
Credo was scooped up by his handler, according to television news coverage. Police took him to a veterinary hospital where he was pronounced dead, Arrona said.
"It's with heartfelt sadness that we announce our K-9 Credo succumbed to his injuries," the department tweeted. The dog had worked patrol and narcotics, "and was involved in over 30 apprehensions during his years of service," the department stated.
Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA's senior vice president for cruelty investigations, says the organization honors the canine's service.
"Dogs are loyal, and police dogs are trained not to kill but to contain someone who poses a threat, yet Credo paid with his life while serving and protecting," she says. "PETA and our supporters will remember him for being an officer like any other, who should not have had his life taken from him."
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Long Beach homicide detectives as well as Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office investigators are looking into the shooting. Anyone with information or video is asked to call detectives at 562-570-7244.