Kenosha County K-9 deputy injured in officer-involved shooting at gas station; suspect in custody
KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Highway 50 was shut down for hours west of Highway 45 in Kenosha County, after deputies shot a homicide suspect. The suspect also shot a K-9 during the high-risk traffic stop around 11 a.m. Thursday morning, Oct. 21.
According to the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department, deputies were dispatched to Benson Corners gas station, at the corner of State Highway 50 and US 45, in an attempt to find a stolen vehicle involved in a homicide out of Chicago.
Deputies located the vehicle and attempted to make contact with the driver and sole occupant.
A high-risk traffic stop was conducted, and the suspect -- identified by authorities as a white male -- fled from the vehicle.
A deputy K-9 was on the scene and was deployed.
"They went and called out orders to come out, put his hands up, the suspect did not follow those orders. He took off running. I heard in some bodycam footage that I saw, the deputies were hollering for him to drop his weapon," said Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth.
That's when deputies unleashed K-9 Riggs. Officials say while attempting to apprehend the suspect, Riggs was shot by the suspect.
"Riggs was released and captured the suspect just before running onto Highway 50, while the suspect still had the gun in his hand, and who knows what the felon would've done, who knows if he would've tried going up there and carjacking somebody at gunpoint," said Sheriff Beth.
It's not a far stretch when you hear what he was wanted for. Chicago police say the suspect shot a man at a bus stop, then carjacked a man at gunpoint, shooting him, too. Both victims died.
Those who live near the Bristol gas station heard multiple shots fired during the high-risk traffic stop.
Across the state line, K-9 Riggs is being treated at an Illinois animal hospital.
"Riggs is a little scrapper. He's probably not one of our bigger dogs. He's a small dog with a big heart," said Paul Pomazal.
Pomazal trained Riggs in the class of 2014.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth says K-9 Riggs underwent surgery Thursday.
"In my world, Riggs is a hero and possibly saved someone from being injured today," said Sheriff Beth.
It's a stressful time for the entire Kenosha County Sheriff's Department after K-9 Officer Riggs was shot near his eye. His handler is especially concerned.
"I just actually talked to him before walking over here and he's very emotional right now," Sheriff Beth said.
The Racine County Sheriff’s Department will take the lead on the investigation.
All Kenosha County deputies involved in Thursday's shooting have been placed on administrative leave for now.