Braintree, MA – Braintree Police Department (BPD) K9 Kitt was killed in the line of duty on Friday as he ran into a wooded area to help locate and apprehend an armed fugitive.
The suspect, described as a male in his 30s with warrants out for his arrest, took off into a nearby wooded area armed with at least two handguns, Braintree Police Chief Mark Dubois said during a joint press conference with Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey on Friday afternoon.
Responding officers had been told the suspect was armed.
The heavily-wooded area the suspect fled into is next to one of the most densely-populated areas of town and backs up to a commuter rail, Morrissey said.
Due to the potential risk of harm the gunman posed to innocent civilians, the officers headed into the woods after him.
The suspect, who had been out in the woods for about 45 minutes after the initial call was made, was lying in wait when police came in after him.
The officers were approximately 100 yards into the wooded area when the suspect ambushed them, Morrissey said.
Two officers were shot multiple times during the attack.
Braintree police K9 Kitt, a 12-year veteran of the department, was mortally wounded.
The gunman was also shot during the incident.
Additional officers arrived at the scene within minutes and carried the wounded officers and the wounded suspect out of the densely-wooded area.
The suspect was transported to Milton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The wounded officers were also rushed to area hospitals and taken in to surgery.
Both officers suffered multiple gunshot wounds during the attack, Chief Dubois confirmed.
“We are hoping for the best,” Morrissey said, regarding the officers’ odds of survival. “We think things are going well, but say a prayer.”
Chief Dubois said K9 Kitt was a beloved member of the department who served faithfully alongside his handler during the course of his 12 years of service.
“He was partnered with the same officer for that entire time,” the chief noted.
“That dog is incredible,” he said, calling his death “tragic.”
A police procession honoring K9 Kitt took place on Friday afternoon, NECN reported.
The police dog shot and killed in Braintree is being brought out and saluted with a flag draped over the stretcher.
Emotional scene for the loss of this K9 Officer.
— David Wade (@davidwade) June 4, 2021
K9 Kitt getting in on our #sidewalkchalkchallenge. With call volume down, he has been able to master the skill of sidewalk art! Thank you for #stayinghome and #washingyourhands. Kitts "To Do" list: #staysafe, #stayalert, #stayhappy #policek9 #Braintree #ThankfulThursday pic.twitter.com/a3RT73o3LF
— Braintree Police Department (@BraintreePolice) March 26, 2020
— Karen Anderson (@karenreports) June 4, 2021
— Kevin Wiles, Jr (@kwilesjrphoto) June 28, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Braintree Police Department in the loss of K9 Kitt.