The normally quiet fields near Elverta Road and 16th Street in Rio Linda were rattled with the presence of a CHP helicopter, multiple law enforcement vehicles and Sacramento County Sheriff’s SWAT.
According to Sacramento Police it all started around 4 a.m. when a car was stolen from a home near Garden Highway and I-80. At 4:11 a.m. an officer quickly spotted the vehicle near Norwood Avenue.
The pursuit began and at 4:26 a.m. two Sacramento County Sheriff’s K9 units joined in.
They chased the suspect to a field at Elverta and 16th where the suspect foot bailed and shot at the deputies, according to Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Sgt. Lisa Bowman.
“Suspect ran into the field, approximately eight shots were fired,” she said.
Bowman added because of the early morning darkness it was difficult for law enforcement to tell where they were coming from, so they didn’t return fire.
When the shots stopped they quickly realized one of their K9’S “Drago” had been shot in the chest.
“The dog was down (but alive),” said Bowman, “After that they needed to concentrate on their safety and safety of the animal.”
Drago was transported to a veterinary hospital where they determined the bullet went through his chest and shoulder but missed vital organs.
So they wouldn’t lose the suspect in the darkness, law enforcement quickly set up a perimeter and brought out a helicopter with heat detectors.
“They have a heat source inside the field,” said Bowman. As soon as the sun came up they confirmed the heat source was the suspect; that’s when law enforcement moved in.
“The beginning reports (the suspect) was not responsive to our verbal commands,” said Bowman, “We tried some non-lethal force action – no response.”
When law enforcement got closer they realize the suspect had self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and there are signs of life.
The suspect, who is described as a male in his 40’s, was taken to the hospital. While law enforcement waits to see if they can get any answers from the suspect, they’re thoughts are with Drago.
“He seems alert, awake and happy and everybody’s very relieved,” said Bowman.