An armed carjacker in Florida who abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot subsequently shot and injured two police dogs. The tenacious K-9s — Ax and Endo — continued to chase their attacker until authorities subdued him — but not before the suspect fired at them and was shot himself.
“There is no doubt that K-9 Ax and K-9 Endo took bullets that were meant for my deputies,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said after the incident, which began unfolding at 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 in Volusia County, on Florida’s Atlantic coast.
The chase started when police received a call reporting a carjacking from a Lyft driver. The passenger pulled a gun on him after arriving at the destination. He then forced the driver out of the white Kia Sedona minivan and stole the vehicle.
The police later found the minivan, abandoned near a wooded area. A foot chase soon followed, then the shooting began.
“Two Volusia Sheriff’s Office K-9s are recovering from gunshot wounds after an armed carjacking suspect hiding in the woods in Deltona opened fire on them in two shootings over the course of about two hours early this morning,” the sheriff’s office stated.
“The suspect, 21-year-old Shedrick Singleton Jr., … was wounded by deputies who closed in and returned fire around 2:20 a.m. at the scene. K-9 Ax, who was shot in the side of his face in an initial shooting shortly after midnight, was rushed to a veterinarian by his handler, Deputy A.J. Davis. K-9 Endo, who was shot in the paw and the chin in the second shooting around 2:20 a.m., was rushed to another vet clinic by his handler, Deputy Brett Whitson. There were no other injuries in the incident.”
Singleton was transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford with life-threatening injuries. Among the charges he faces: armed carjacking and using a deadly weapon against a police dog.
The sheriff’s department subsequently posted pictures of the police dogs with their injuries treated, accompanied by this statement: “These guys are right back on their feet.”
Chitwood praised the bravery of Ax and Endo, who “had to be pulled away from the suspect even after they were shot.”
“If the deputies had gone into the woods, the first person to come in contact with Singleton, without a doubt, would have been shot,” he said.
Edited by Matthew B. Hall and Fern Siegel
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