Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix Police Department K9 Bane was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday, after he entered a residence to take down a carjacking suspect.
Veterinarians were still working to determine K9 Bane’s cause of death, KPNX reported.
The tragic incident began at approximately 11 a.m., when police attempted to stop the driver of a stolen car, The Arizona Republic reported.
“That vehicle was occupied by a known suspect, who has prior arrests and actually an active warrant for stolen vehicles,” Sergeant Jonathan Howard said in a press conference.
The suspect, who had fled from police on previous occasions, refused to pull over, Sgt. Howard explained.
The officers fell back, while air support kept an eye on the suspect’s path of travel.
The man and his female passenger eventually exited the vehicle, and proceeded to steal a different car.
The duo traveled to the Biltmore Fashion Park, where they carjacked a female driver at gunpoint, Sgt. Howard said.
“It was at that location that shots were fired,” he explained.
The unnamed man pointed a gun at the officers, prompting them to return fire, police said.
The uninjured suspect then fled the area, swerving between lanes and dodging traffic, as he led officers on a pursuit.
He crashed the stolen vehicle into a van at one point, but then immediately drove away, KPNX reported.
He also drove along the light rail tracks and across sidewalks during the chase.
An officer was able to deploy spike strips at 12:30 p.m., successfully deflating the suspect’s tires. The suspect then crashed into a residential yard, Sgt. Howard recounted.
The man scrambled out of the vehicle, jumped over a fence, and proceeded to break into a nearby home, where he barricaded himself inside an attic, KPNX reported.
The female passenger was apprehended and arrested, police said.
Police decided to send K9 Bane in to apprehend the barricaded man. When officers later entered the home, they discovered the suspect on top of the K9 officer, The Arizona Republic reported.
The injured suspect was taken into custody at approximately 3 p.m., and was transported to a local hospital, KPNX reported.
Although his cause of death was still being determined, police confirmed that K9 Bane had not been shot, according to The Arizona Republic.
“We sent Bane in to do what the dogs do. They are our protectors, they are our partners and it’s definitely with heart that we lost Bane,” PPD Chief Jeri Williams told KPNX.
K9 Bane, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois, had been with the department for almost two years, KPNX reported.
“The loss of a K9 is no different than the loss of an officer, and we are devastated,” Chief Williams said. “Bane, you’re a hero that was taken too soon, and you’ll be missed. Rest In Peace.”
“Bane died heroically helping apprehend a suspect to keep our community safe,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon. “Prayers for K9 Bane’s handler and the entire Phoenix Police Department.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Phoenix Police Department in the loss of K9 Bane.