WILKINSBURG, Pa. — A K-9 was fatally stabbed Sunday afternoon in Wilkinsburg during a foot chase in which the suspect was shot and killed, Port Authority spokesperson Jim Ritchie confirmed.
Officials have identified the suspect that was shot and killed as 37-year-old Bruce Kelley, Jr.
Ritchie said Kelly stabbed the dog, Aren, and shots were fired by multiple Port Authority police officers. Kelly was fatally hit by the gunfire.
Police told WPXI's Carly Flynn Morgan that Kelley and his father were drinking under a gazebo on Port Authority property.
When officers approached the two, they say that Kelley and his father assaulted the officers and ran.
Police caught up with Kelley and ordered him to stop, but he refused.
"He just kept on walking. He wasn't listening to the police whatsoever. He just kept on going," said Katherine Patterson, witness.
Authorities say Kelley, who was homeless, fought an officer and the officer had to be hospitalized.
Officers then fired their tasers at Kelley, but due to his thick coat, it had no effect.
Aren was then released on Kelley, according to officials.
"At this time they released the dog on the man. He had a knife and he stabbed the dog. The dog went down and the officers shot and killed the man,” said Allegheny County Police Department Superintendent Charles Moffatt.
Aren was taken to a local animal hospital, but died from his injuries.
The dog was a 5-year-old German Shepherd and had been working as a patrol and explosives dog for four years.
Aren's body was draped with an American flag as officers carried it out of the emergency room at the Veterinary Emergency Center in Ohio Township.
"He's a member of that officer’s family. And he's a member of the law enforcement family. And it's a difficult time," said Chief Matt Porter, Port Authority.
The following message was posted on the Pittsburgh Police K9 Unit Facebook page:
"We are sorry to report that K9 Aren from the Port Authority Police Department has succumbed to his injuries that he received while performing his duty. Our thoughts and prayers are with K9 Aren's partner Port Authority Police Officer Brian O'Malley and the entire Port Authority Police Department."
Wilkinsburg’s police chief said Allegheny County police will handle the investigation because they have a homicide unit.
Two Port Authority officers were placed on administrative leave.
In January 2014, a K-9 named Rocco was killed in the line of duty when he was fatally stabbed.
Cox Media Group