St. Clair Shores police responded to a call about a man outside a Michigan banquet hall with a rifle just before 6:30 p.m. Sunday. A shootout ensued and ended with the shooting death of a male shooter and a K-9 named Axe. Police made multiple demands on the man to surrender according to the Detroit News.
About 70 people were inside the Harper Avenue hall near Lakeland Manor at the time of the shooting. The people were reportedly at the hall to attend a baby shower. Officers sighted a man fitting the description provided in the phone call as soon as they arrived on the scene. After engaging the suspect, he fled the scene on foot. Police engaged Axe to track the man. He was doing so when the suspect opened fire on the dog with a handgun. Officers shot back and hit the suspect whose name has not yet been released. He was transported to the hospital where he received medical attention. Axe was transported to an animal hospital for care. Both the K-9 and the suspect died later. State Representative Kevin Hertel paid tribute to Axe after news of his death.
“Our prayers are with the St Clair Shores Police Department and K-9 Axe who was shot during an incident this evening. We have confirmed Axe has been pronounced dead. We thank him for his loyal service protecting our community.”
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard also acknowledged the sacrifice made by Axe and others in law enforcement.
“As always, we are eternally grateful for the men, women & canines that serve to protect our communities. Axe paid the ultimate price tonight.”
The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
Update of SCSPD K9 Officer Axe's #LODD.
— Motor City 911 (@DetroitScanner) November 5, 2018
K-9s of Valor is a nonprofit Ohio organization that provides donated equipment to police departments. They offered their thoughts, prayers, and condolences on the passing of Axe Sunday. The Officer Collin Rose Memorial Foundation said they will be donating a protective vest and a first-aid bag in memory of the K-9. A statement issued by the organization read in part, “His two year tour of duty ended tonight. His life mattered. Our thoughts are with the agency and his partner.”
Axe had been with the St. Clair Shores Police Department since 2016, when he was just 2-years-old. He was named after a Navy SEAL, Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Axelson. Axelson was from Cupertino, California. He was 29-years-old when he was killed in Afghanistan in 2005.