INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana State Police K-9 was injured during a shootout between a suspect and state police troopers late Tuesday evening on Indianapolis' northeast side.
Indiana State Police say the shooting happened around 9 p.m. after a trooper recognized a man walking in a parking lot behind O'Reilly Auto Parts on 38th Street as a suspect from an earlier incident.
The suspect took off running when the trooper attempted to pat him down for weapons, according to ISP.
That trooper, identified as Walter Butt, deployed his K-9, Apache, to help with the chase. State police say the suspect fired multiple shots from a handgun toward the trooper and his K-9 at the same time that Apache made contact with the suspect. Trooper Butt returned fire and struck the suspect.
"The canine fearlessly helped apprehend the suspect and kept him from continuous violence and potentially harming our police officer or our canine officer," said Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine.
Immediately following the shooting, K-9 Apache ran from the scene. Trooper Butt and two other responding troopers began life-saving procedures on the suspect until he could be taken to the hospital for treatment. The suspect, identified as Cortez Lavine Boxley, 26, of Indianapolis, is currently listed in serious but stable condition.
State police say they recovered a handgun, a black mask and drug paraphernalia from Boxley. After a 12-hour search for K-9 Apache, he was located by a citizen near Aspen Way. When Trooper Butt arrived on the scene, Apache immediately ran to his side.
"We're just thankful the canine and the officer were there to stop this," said Sgt. Perrine. "I don't want to even consider what might have happened if the canine officer wasn't there."After examination by a veterinarian, it was determined that Apache had suffered a gunshot wound to his neck, but is expected to make a full recovery. State police are still trying to determine the source of K-9 Apache's wound. He will go through evaluations and training to see if he will go back into service.
Trooper Butt is a five-year veteran with the Indiana State Police. "I think right now, it's been a pretty traumatic night for the dog and the dog handler as you can imagine and right now we're going to give them some time to rest and be with their families as well," said Perrine.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article stated the incident happened on the city's east side. It happened on the northeast side.
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