TULARE, California (KSEE/KGPE) – A Sheriff’s K9 was shot during a chase by an undercover detective who was mistaken by the K9 as the suspect on Tuesday, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said.
Just before 11:30 a.m., members of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office CATTCH Unit were conducting surveillance of a wanted carjacking and robbery suspect — who also had a felony warrant for possession of a firearm and misdemeanor resisting arrest warrant, the Sheriff’s Office said.
During the surveillance, detectives stopped a car near Inyo Avenue and West Street.
The carjacking and robbery suspect, Ricardo Aguirre, was the rear passenger in that car.
During that traffic stop, Aguirre jumped out and ran east on Inyo Avenue, the Sheriff’s Office said. Detectives ran after him.
A Sheriff’s Office K9 unit arrived at the scene, and the K9 was sent to chase after the suspect.
During the chase, an undercover Sheriff’s detective in plainclothes crossed paths with the K9, who confused him with the suspect, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The K9 latched onto the detective’s tactical vest.
Unable to get the K9 off of him, the undercover detective fired one round into the K9’s neck, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The K9 was taken to a local vet where he went into surgery and is expected to survive.
The detective was not seriously hurt.
Aguirre was caught in the same lot as the incident with the K9 and was arrested.
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux asked the Tulare Police Department to investigate the incident.
No other information was immediately available.