Police dog shot and killed after gunman opens fire into patrol car

A police dog was shot after a suspect opened fire on a patrol car with the dog and its human partner, according to local authorities.
The incident occurred on November 17, when officer Justin Darby and his Belgian Malinois K9 officer named Sjaak - pronounced "Jacques" - were driving on Murfreesboro Road in La Vergne, Tennessee, when a rifleman stopped next to them and closed fire opened their patrol car before they set off.
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"The officer was chasing the driver and other officers joined in the chase," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said in a press release regarding the incident. “Information from the scene indicates that the driver got out of his vehicle and shot at officers, with the officers returning fire. The subject got back into their vehicle and continued into the parking lot, encountering a parked vehicle before settling down. "
The officers then approached the vehicle and found that the suspect was bulletproof during the shooting. The man involved in the incident was immediately rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
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Officer Darby was not injured in the shootout, but it was only after police pursuit and subsequent shooting that the officer found that his K9 partner Sjaak had been hit three times by the attacker's bullets.
"We all pray for Sjaak and Officer Darby," said interim chief Chip Davis in a statement following the attack. "For our dog handlers, a K9 is more than just a dog, they are a partner."
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PHOTO: A K9 officer named Sjaak was shot dead after a suspect opened fire on a patrol car with the dog and his human partner on Nov. 17 in La Vergne, Tennessee. (La Vergne Police Department)
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Sjaak was immediately taken to a veterinary clinic, where he underwent emergency surgery on November 18 to treat the wounds he suffered in the shooting, but unfortunately did not survive the operation.
The La Verge Police Department said in a press release: "It is with a heavy heart that the La Vergne Police Department announces that K9 Sjaak has passed away."
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"Our hearts are broken," Chief Davis said in a separate following the death of the K9 officer. “Our K9 are members of the LPD family. Sjaak was an amazing and loyal dog. We ask all to keep Officer Darby, his family, and all La Vergne officers in your thoughts and prayers as we address this loss. "
La Vergne police did not say how old Sjaak was at the time of his death, but confirmed that he had gone to the police in 2014.
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The name of the suspect involved in the attack is currently on hold pending notification to family members and the TBI is investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The final arrangements for Sjaak will be announced at a later date, according to the La Vergne Police Department.
Police dog shot after gunman opened fire in a patrol car originally posted on abcnews.go.com

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