A police dog in Florida was fatally shot while chasing down a runaway fugitive who opened fire on cops, authorities said.
The shootout erupted as Volusia County Sheriff’s Office deputies searched for a suspect in a patch of woods in Deltona around 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. Forrest, a member of the agency’s K-9 unit, was struck by the gunfire.
Forrest was rushed to the DeLand Animal Hospital but did not survive, the Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post.
The suspect, who was not immediately identified, was wanted for unspecified crimes.
A tipster had led authorities to a home 24 miles north of Orlando where cops found the man driving “recklessly” on a dirt bike, police said. He ditched the bike and hurdled fences to escape.
Forrest was sniffing out the suspect, while a helicopter searched from above, when the wanted man brandished a firearm and shot at the deputies, who returned fire.
It’s unclear whose bullets struck the dog, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The suspect was at large as of early Wednesday.