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Arizona officer, K-9 shot by robbery suspect

Erin Zlomek
The Arizona Republic

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — A suspected robber was shot and killed after shooting and injuring an 11-year Goodyear police officer and his K-9 on Monday afternoon, according to police.

Officer Ricky Melrose was shot in the chest and hip. “The officer's vest probably saved his life,” department spokesman John Rowan said.

Melrose was taken to St. Joseph's hospital and underwent surgery on his hip around 5 p.m., Rowan said. He was listed in stable condition Monday night.

Melrose's K-9, a Belgian Malinois named Zip, was shot in the ear, Rowan said. The dog received four stitches from a local veterinarian and should make a full recovery.

The shooting at around 2:40 p.m. followed a call 20 minutes earlier reporting an armed robbery at the Superstar Car Wash, 490. N. Dysart Road. A man reportedly entered the carwash, flashed a handgun and grabbed the tip jar containing about $150 from the counter, Rowan said.

Police scoured the area for the man who reportedly fled on foot.

The man, hiding in a shed on the 1500 block of Lamora Drive, opened fire as officers approached, striking the dog and officer, Rowan said.

Officers returned fire, killing the suspected robber, he said.

At around 4:30 p.m. Yellow tape roped off the residential area, which sits behind the heavy commercial intersection of Dysart Road and Interstate 10.

The Glendale Police Department was called in to investigate the Goodyear officers' need for fire.

The man's name has not yet been released.

Copyright 2008 The Arizona Republic

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