Fox 12 has compiled a collection of local heroes, the K-9 teams that serve and protect our communities, in one slideshow.More >>
Fox 12 has compiled a collection of local heroes, the K-9 teams that serve and protect our communities, in one slideshow. More >>
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -
A Portland police K-9 was shot to death and an officer was injured after chasing a burglary suspect accused of breaking into a police uniform supply shop Wednesday morning.
Police identified the officer as Jeff Dorn, a 16-year veteran of the bureau assigned to the K-9 unit night shift. Officer Dorn remained in the hospital Wednesday with gunshot wounds to both of his legs.
His K-9 partner killed in the shooting near Southwest Capitol Highway and Primrose Street has been identified as Mick, a dog that just recently joined the Portland Police Bureau after completing extensive training.
Mick was found dead in the yard of a southwest Portland home by officers making a second search of the neighborhood. The German Shepherd appeared to die of a gunshot wound.
Portland Police Chief Mike Reese laid out a rough timeline of events at a news conference Wednesday morning. He said officers saw three burglary suspects emerge from Blumenthal's Uniform and Equipment in Southwest Portland, so they attempted to make a traffic stop.
A chase ensued and the suspects crashed not far from the site of the burglary.
Reese said a burglary suspect ran out of the car, and a police officer ordered his K-9 to chase after the suspect. Officers also tried to stop the suspect, and that's when gunfire was exchanged. There were multiple officers at the scene, but it's unknown how many officers fired their guns or how many total shots were fired.
Following the confrontation with police, the suspect fled, but he was eventually arrested by SERT team officers more than two miles away in the 6900 block of Oleson Road. He suffered injuries, but it wasn't immediately clear whether those injuries came from gunfire or from running from police. A FOX 12 helicopter showed an ambulance take the suspect to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital, where his injuries were considered non-life-threatening.
Police said 911 calls from neighbors were "critical" in tracking down the location of the suspect around 5:40 a.m.
Officers also found the suspect's rifle near the site of his arrest.
With the officer and the suspect both hospitalized, police continued to search the southwest Portland neighborhood for the dog. They eventually found the K-9 beneath a hedge in the yard of a Portland home.
Though police do have bulletproof vests available for their K-9s, they are only used in SERT situations. Mick was wearing a harness Wednesday, but not a ballistic vest. Officers said the vests are cumbersome for the dogs to use on a regular basis.
Mick was killed prior to SERT being called to the scene.
Reese said the shooting is yet another reminder of the danger involved in being a police officer.
"We've had two shootings where an officer has been shot in the last month. It points out to all of us that police work can be incredibly dangerous," he said. "You never know when an incident like this can turn life-threatening."
A police procession took the K-9 to the animal hospital.
In response to requests from community members about making donations to the K-9 unit, Portland police said non-tax-deductible donations can be sent directly to: Portland Police Bureau K-9 Unit, 4735 E. Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97215.
Officer Dorn consented to have his name released Wednesday prior to the standard 24-hour waiting period after his family was notified of his injuries.
The Portland Police Bureau released a statement on behalf of Dorn. It states: "Officer Dorn would like the community to know that 'Mick saved my life.'"
It has not yet been determined if there will be a public service to honor Mick.
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