The 2-year-old police dog who was shot and seriously wounded by a gunman who opened fire on officers in a West Covina neighborhood is expected to go home Tuesday.
Reiko, a 2-year-old Beligian Malinois, has been hospitalized since Sunday night, when a gunman fired shots at him and officers, striking the canine once in the upper torso.
The bullet narrowly missed the dog's spinal cord and remained lodged under the skin until veterinarians removed it and handed it to police investigators.
"Their quick actions and top-tier skill level absolutely saved Reiko's life," West Covina Police Cpl. Rudy Lopez said.
Reiko will recover at home with his handler, Officer Bryan Rodriguez.
Police said the drama unfolded about 11 p.m. Sunday, when police found a dead man on the front lawn of a church near Sunset Avenue and Badillo Street.
An witness described the gunman and directed police to the area of Elgenia and Yaleton avenues, where officers set up a perimeter.
As officers searched for the gunman, deputies in a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department helicopter spotted the man on the roof of a home, police said.
The gunman jumped off the roof and shot in the direction of officers, striking Reiko, police said.
Police fired back, killing the gunman.
Authorities are investigating the death and have not released the man's name.
The Police Department received community donations and contributions to purchase and train Reiko, who eventually joined the force in December 2013.
According to police, Reiko is the first dog in the U.S. to be accepted as a Rotary Club member.
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