Two men were killed and a police dog was seriously wounded in a pair of related shootings overnight in West Covina.
The drama began about 11 p.m. near Sunset Avenue and Badillo Street when officers found a man shot dead on the front lawn of the Church of Nazarene, West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez said.
“This is very unusual,” he said. Multiple shootings “don’t happen often” in West Covina.
A witness provided details about the gunman, leading officers to Elgenia and Yaleton avenues. Police surrounded the neighborhood.
A Los Angeles County’s sheriff’s helicopter spotted the alleged gunman on a rooftop.
The suspect jumped off the roof, and Officer Bryan Rodriguez released the police dog, Reiko.
As the dog approached, the gunman fired shots toward officers and struck 2-year-old Reiko, seriously injuring him, Lopez said.
Officers returned fire, killing the gunman in the 1500 block of East Elgenia Street, he said. Police found a gun at the scene, authorities said.
Reiko, who joined the department in December 2013, was in stable condition after emergency surgery Monday morning, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
The dog was expected to undergo a second surgery Monday to determine the extent of his injuries.
The Friends of West Covina PD K9s, a nonprofit group associated with the West Covina Police Department, had been trying to raise funds to pay for bulletproof vests that might have protected Reiko, a Belgian Malinois, in the latest shooting.
Lopez said Reiko and two other West Covina police dogs, Rocco and Robbie, are considered part of the Police Department family.
“They are one of us,” Lopez said. “It’s kind of like a big family. They are part of what we do.”
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