Police Dog Wounded After Search for Gunman in Fatal Shooting

The gunman shot and killed after the searched matched witness descriptions of a man involved in a slaying outside a church

A man who opened fire on a police dog after jumping from the roof of a home was shot and killed by police after a search for a gunman involved in a nearby fatal shooting outside a church.

The officer-involved shooting was reported at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday in the 1500 block of East Elgnenia Street in West Covina. At least one West Covina officer was involved in the shooting.

[DO NOT USE 12-31] 2014 SoCal Images in the News

The dog, a Belgian Malinois, underwent surgery Monday morning and was expected to make a full recovery, according to the West Covina Police Department.

The shooting occurred just minutes after the discovery of a shooting victim on lawn outside a church. The victim died at the scene.

"Limited" information was available regarding the shooting and reports of an argument between the two men, police said.

"It was right in front of the church," said Cpl. Rudy Lopez. "The witness was able to provide us with the direction and a description."


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Authorities are attempting to determine whether a Yellow taxi cab parked outside the church was connected to the shooting. The cab was towed from the scene.

The taxi cab company confirmed that the driver was not injured.

west covina dog
Friends of West Covina PD K-9
West Covina police dog Reiko was shot during the search for a gunman wanted in a fatal shooting Sunday Nov. 23, 2014 outside a West Covina church.

Witnesses told police they heard gunfire and saw a man running from the scene. Authorities towed a Yellow taxi cab from the scene of the church shooting, but it was not immediatley clear whether the vehicle is part of the investigation.

The gunman jumped from the roof onto a driveway and opened fire as a K-9 handler released the police dog, which was struck by one round. 

The 2-year-old dog, Reiko, has been with the department since 2013.

"He's done a magnificent job," said Lopez. "He's just one of those kinds of dogs that's got the drive that does the job. His handler is an excellent handler and they make a great team, and that's why I'm sure he's taking it as hard as he is because of that relationship.

"They are officers. They're treated as such. When you've injured a K-9, you've basically injured an officer."

Reiko is one of the dogs assigned to the department. The department is attempting to acquire protective body armor for the K-9 unit, Lopez said.

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