NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas - A North Texas police K-9 underwent surgery and is recovering after being shot during a chase.
The North Richland Hills Police Department said K-9 Koba was hit late Monday while he and other officers were responding to a call about a suicidal man with a gun. The investigation turned into a chase just before 9 p.m.
The chase began in Watauga, where relatives say Jamie Ramirez, 47, had a gun and was suicidal. He then led police on a chase to the North Richland Hills intersection of Caracas and Trinidad drives. There, police say he refused to listen to commands and got out of his car.
Sgt. Melissa Andrews said the suspect confronted officers with his weapon and fired shots. In response, the officers fired back. Koba, who had already been deployed as a less-lethal option, was also shot.
The suspect was taken to the hospital, underwent surgery and is expected to survive. His name will be released once he is officially charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer.
Koba also had surgery and is now recovering from his injuries.
“We are happy to report that he is out of surgery. He is in recovery. We are very hopeful that he will return to full duty,” Sgt. Andrews said. “We want to thank our community for all of the thoughts and prayers given the past two weeks of this year. We’ve already had numerous assaults on officers and we are so grateful for the continued support that our community shows us.”
Andrews said Koba has become a very important part of the North Richland Hills Police Department and his handler’s family. Everyone is relieved that he pulled through.
It is the first time a K-9 with the department has been shot.
Police are still investigating whether the suspect or other officers fired the shot that hit Koba.