LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Lubbock Police Department K-9 and a 14-year-old boy are recovering after being shot during an early morning pursuit that ended near 43rd Street and Avenue N early Tuesday morning.
The K-9 and the 14-year-old, who has not been identified by LPD, are expected to recover from their injuries. Three other suspects are still being sought by LPD and are considered armed and dangerous, though their descriptions have not been given out yet.
The incident started as a stolen vehicle call around 12:30 a.m. in the 2000 block of 29th Street. It was not until just before 2:30 a.m. an officer was able to find the suspected stolen vehicle in the 4900 block of Avenue G.
After a short pursuit, the car stopped near the 4200 block of Avenue N and four people ran out in different directions, Neal Barron, assistant chief said during a Tuesday morning news conference.
A K-9 officer and K-9 ran after the suspects.
“During the foot chase several rounds were fired toward the K-9 and the officer, as the foot chase was ongoing,” Barron said. “The suspect and the officer, during this foot chase, entered a backyard in the 1300 block of 43rd Street.”
Whenever they went into the backyard another round was fired, which was believed to have been intended for the officer and the K-9. The officer returned fire and hit the suspect once.
The 14-year-old was then taken into custody and later taken to University Medical Center. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
The officer who handles the K-9 was not injured, but the K-9, whose name is Max, was injured. Max was hit twice, once in the front-left paw and again in the right-rear haunch.
He was taken to an emergency veterinarian clinic, where he received treatment. Max’s injuries are not life-threatening.
The K-9 officer who handles Max has been put on paid administrative leave, which is regular protocol for these situations.
Two investigations have been opened into this case, an administrative and criminal investigation, John Caspell, assistant chief of police, said.
“The reason for that is when an officer uses a measure of deadly force – certainly firing a gun – that’s a very serious act,” Caspell said. “That’s something that the public needs to have a lot of faith and legitimacy that we have acted appropriately when we discharge a firearm in the course of our duties.”
Police have also said a gun that was found at the scene is reported stolen out of Littlefield. And, when officers took the 14-year-old into custody they found out there was an unrelated warrant out of Hockley County for his arrest.
As of now charges have not been formally filed but police anticipate robbery and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle will be among the many other charges.
“I don’t mind telling you we have done a very brief initial review and it appears our officer did act appropriately,” Caspell said. “However, we are going to wait until the full investigation unfolds and will go into detail more to see if we can verify that.”