Kenosha County

Wis. Police Dog Shot Taking Down Chicago Murder Suspect Hailed a ‘Hero'

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Police in southeastern Wisconsin say that a man was wounded after he allegedly shot a K-9 dog during a pursuit Thursday morning, and the suspect has ties to a homicide in Chicago. NBC 5’s Natalie Martinez has the story.

A police dog who took a bullet while capturing a suspect believed to be tied to multiple Chicago murders is being hailed a "hero."

Police in southeastern Wisconsin said they were chasing a man who was driving a vehicle belonging to a Chicago murder victim and as the armed man fled, they sent their K-9, Riggs, after him.

According to authorities in Kenosha County, the incident occurred at approximately 11:16 a.m. in the village of Bristol.

Officials say the stolen vehicle, which had allegedly been involved in a homicide in the city of Chicago, was at a Bristol gas station, and deputies attempted to conduct a “high-risk traffic stop."

The suspect fled from the vehicle on foot, and Riggs was deployed.

"Riggs was released and captured the suspect just before running onto Highway 50 while the suspect still had the gun in his hand," said Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth. "And Riggs took the suspect to the ground."

During the struggle, Riggs was shot and responding officers then fired at the suspect multiple times.

Riggs suffered a gunshot wound to the forehead and was taken into surgery at an emergency animal hospital in Illinois, Beth said.

The suspect was shot in the abdomen and the leg and taken to an area hospital for treatment of his injuries. There is no official word on the condition of the suspect, or on the condition of the K-9 dog.

Beth said area police had been alerted by Chicago authorities that a homicide suspect was believed to be in their area, driving one of the murdered victim's vehicles.

While it remains unclear if the man who was shot by authorities is the same suspect, police say the armed man they shot was driving the wanted vehicle.

Riggs was praised for stopping the suspect before another incident could have taken place.

"In a lot of ways he's a hero today because he at least initially took the suspect down, kept him from running on to the Highway 50 - a felon with a handgun and who knows what the felon would have done, who knows if he would have gone up there and tried carjacking somebody at gunpoint," Beth said. "In my world, Riggs is a hero and possibly saved save someone else from being injured today."

Riggs has been with the department for several years. Beth said Riggs' handler was "very emotional."

Officials are continuing to investigate, and the Racine County Sheriff’s Department will handle the use-of-force investigation, according to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.