A man suspected in a carjacking fatally shot a Tucson police dog before he was shot and killed by officers in midtown late Wednesday, department officials said.
The dog, named Ivan, was shot just after biting the man during a confrontation with officers that followed a carjacking and chase, police said.
This is the second serious incident in less than a month where Tucson police personnel have been shot.
Shortly before 11 p.m., a man called 911 to report that a gunman had stolen his pickup truck outside a Domino's Pizza at 5460 E. Speedway.
Minutes later, a patrol officer spotted the truck near East Fifth Street and North Alvernon Way and attempted to pull it over. Instead, the driver led the officer on a chase through midtown that ended near Himmel Park.
The 51-year-old man continued driving even after crashing into a fence in the 500 block of North Treat Avenue.
After pulling into an alley near East Second Street and North Stewart Avenue, the driver got out of the truck and ran. Several officers and the police dog chased the man.
The man encountered police in the front yard of a house in the 2900 block of East Second Street and put his large-caliber handgun to his head, threatening to shoot himself, said Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor.
Officer Chris Fenoglio released his K-9 in an effort to keep the man from killing himself, Villaseñor said.
"They were trying to help him and take him into custody," he said.
Ivan, a 3-year-old Belgian malinois, attacked the man and bit him on his left arm. That's when the man shot the dog, police said.
Ivan died later at a veterinary hospital.
Officers shot the man several times after he refused to drop the handgun, police said.
The entire incident took just eight minutes.
The officers who shot the man were identified as Matthew Merz, Jason Kerns and Jon Collamore, along with Fenoglio. All are veterans on the force.
The identity of the man is known, but his name was not released Thursday.
Ivan had been with the department for six months and had recently completed narcotics training, Villaseñor said.
"He was showing tremendous promise," Villaseñor said.
The incident is under investigation.
On Nov. 18, police Sgt. Robert Carpenter was shot and seriously wounded during a burglary call. He is recovering at a hospital.
A man was arrested on charges related to the burglary, but no charges in the shooting have been filed.
Contact reporter Jamar Younger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4115. On Twitter: @JamarYounger