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Long Beach officers mourn loss of police dog killed by friendly fire

Officers are grieving over the loss of a Long Beach police dog killed by friendly fire Tuesday during a manhunt for a 2014 shooting suspect that also left the suspect dead.

Credo, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, is Long Beach police Officer Mike Parcells’ second canine partner to die in the line of duty in nearly 11 years.

Parcells, a 23-year Long Beach police veteran and a dog handler for 16 years, had been partnered with Credo for two years. Skilled in patrol and narcotics operations, the dog was involved in more than 30 apprehensions, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

In October 2005, Parcells’ partner Ranger, also a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, was shot in the chest during a SWAT call in the 1200 block of Loma Vista Avenue, police said. Ranger died during surgery. The dog had served with the department for two years.

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“Please keep Ofc. Parcells and his family in your thoughts as they deal with this tragic loss,” the department said.

Members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force had been searching for a man who was wanted in connection with a shooting that injured multiple people in December 2014, according to a police statement.

The task force observed the suspect near 16th Street and Temple Avenue, but he ran to a friend’s apartment in the 2800 block of East 15th Street. Police set up a perimeter around the apartment complex and closed surrounding streets.

The man eventually left the apartment, but did not obey officers’ orders to surrender, instead charging toward the officers, according to the police statement. Police responded by firing rubber bullets and sending in Credo the police dog.

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“As Credo fought with the suspect, the suspect produced a knife while continuing to advance toward officers,” police said.

One officer opened fire with live ammunition, striking the man and Credo.

The man was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead later Tuesday, according to a police spokeswoman. 

Credo was taken to a veterinary hospital and later died. 

No officers were injured during the shooting. A serrated knife with a black handle was found at the scene.

For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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