A Long Beach K-9 police officer was killed in the line of duty today after a shootout happened between officers, SWAT team members, and an armed suspect who officers were attempting to apprehend in connection with an assault with a deadly weapon case.
Long Beach police, along with a K-9 officer — identified as 4-year-old Belgian Malinois Credo — were looking for the man in an apartment complex and had set up a perimeter around the complex, including closing several streets, in an attempt to apprehend the unidentified man. The investigation began around 9 a.m. local time, and about two hours later, gunfire between officers and the suspect broke out. It is still unclear what prompted the shootout, or how many shots were fired, reports Fox11.
During the gunfire, both the suspect and Credo, a Long Beach K-9 officer, were injured. Following the shooting, aerial photos showed an officer carrying the limp body of the K-9 from the scene and laying him on a sidewalk at around 11 a.m. Obviously distraught, the officer was seen throwing his helmet to the ground, and picking up the police dog once again, to transport him to the back of a police cruiser. Credo was then transported to Signal Hill Animal Hospital, where he sadly succumbed to his injuries.
The suspect was transported to a nearby hospital, where he later died.
Photos of Credo posted to the Long Beach police department Facebook page identify the K-9 officer as the partner of Officer Mike Parcells, with whom Credo worked for the past two years since becoming a police dog. This is the second K-9 partner of Parcells’ that was killed in the line of duty; the officer lived through the pain of losing another K-9 partner in 2005.
At around 4:30 p.m., the Long Beach Police Department confirmed Credo’s death via Twitter, saying “It’s with heartfelt sadness that we announce our K-9 Credo succumbed to his injuries.”
Following Credo’s death in the line of duty, Long Beach PD officers, personnel, and community members gathered outside Signal Hill Animal Hospital to hold a vigil in remembrance of the beloved K-9 officer. Among the local community members that turned out to support the officers during this tragedy was Long Beach resident Josie Gavieres and her 11-year-old dog Groucho, reports Long Beach Post.
“We thought we’d come out today just to show our support because we know what it’s like to lose a partner.”
Officer Parcells appeared inconsolable as a procession of officers carried their fallen K-9 comrade’s body, draped in an American flag, from the veterinary clinic into the bag of a waiting K-9 van. More than 30 uniformed officers stood in formation and saluted their slain brother as the procession passed.
In a press conference confirming that K-9 officer Credo had been killed during the shootout, Deputy Chief Richard Conant with Long Beach police, spoke highly of Credo, and of what he and all K-9 officers mean to the force.
“This is going to be a substantial loss to our K-9 corps, to our K-9 handler that has worked with Credo the past two years and to the Long Beach police family. These K-9s are not just dogs. They are police officers. That’s going to weigh heavily on the department.”
During the two years Credo served as a K-9 officer on the Long Beach police force, he and his handler, officer Parcells, worked mainly in the narcotics and patrol departments, and together had been involved in more than 30 suspect apprehensions.
Condolences from around the world have already begun to pour in on social media sites, sending love and sympathy to the Long Beach police department, and in remembrance of Credo, the K-9 officer who was killed in the line of duty today, while he bravely helped to apprehend a dangerous suspect.
[Image via Long Beach Police Department/Facebook