Houston police K-9 shot in north Harris County

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Houston police patrol officer is at a hospital being treated for dog bite wounds and the dog, which is an HPD K-9, is at a specialty ICU vet hospital, after he was shot twice.

It happened as police were chasing a pair of juvenile robbery suspects early Wednesday afternoon. They're suspected of taking a car in a robbery. The stolen car with a teenage male and female inside was spotted at a north Houston apartment complex. Police pursued them, and the chase ended at Gears Road near Beltway 8.

According to HPD, the female suspect, who had a gun, was arrested after the pair bolted from the stolen car. The other suspect ran and that's when Jake, the HPD canine, was deployed.

The Belgian Malinois was closing in on the suspect, when we're told a patrolman got between the dog and his target.

Jake, according to HPD Assistant Chief George Buenik, "The canine bit the officer and latched on to his thigh. At that point, the officer discharged his weapon, striking the dog. Jake was shot twice."

The patrol officer, identified as L. Castillo, was taken to a north Houston hospital for treatment of bite injuries. Jake was taken in a police SUV to a nearby vet clinic where he was stabilized.

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About a dozen officers from HPD, as well as Harris County, waited outside the clinic for word with their lights still flashing on their patrol cars.

Jake was later transferred to a 24-hour ICU vet hospital in Spring.

He was wounded in the mouth area and the neck. Both wounds considered "through and through" gunshots. No vital organs or arteries were damaged.

Late Wednesday, Eyewitness News was told Jake is in stable condition. While Jake was sedated for pain, he did respond to the sound of his handler's voice. Jake still needs more surgeries.

"He's tough and he still has some more working years in him," one officer said.

"He was still running after he was shot," he said. "That tells you how tough he is."

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