Texas K-9 fatally shot during pursuit, funeral service announced
The K-9 was shot twice by the suspect following a pursuit that spanned multiple counties and required the assistance of several law enforcement agencies
Caleb Downs and Fares Sabawi
San Antonio Express-News
BEXAR COUNTY, Texas — The funeral service for Chucky, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office service dog allegedly shot by a suspect during a pursuit, will be held 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 4, at Community Bible Church and will be open to the public.
According to Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, Chucky was shot twice by Matthew Mireles, 38, at about 11 p.m. Friday on Loop 1604, near Texas 151, following a chaotic pursuit that spanned multiple counties and required the assistance of several law enforcement agencies. One of the bullets severed the dog's aorta and the other grazed his face.
Salazar on Monday morning provided a more detailed timeline of the events leading up to Chucky's death.
The pursuit began at about 9 p.m. in Karnes City when a local officer attempted to stop Mireles for speeding. Mireles refused to pull over and the officer pursued him, authorities said.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers eventually took over the pursuit, which wound up U.S. 181 to Interstate 37 and eventually Loop 1604. At various times throughout the pursuit, Mireles fired at pursuing authorities and pointed his weapon at himself and passing drivers, Salazar said.
"He was hellbent on creating as much havoc and chaos as he possibly could," Salazar said.
At 10:41 p.m., Mireles got out of his car and started walking along Loop 1604. Walking slowly, he led deputies, including Chucky and his handler, on a slow foot pursuit for more than 20 minutes while "continuing to fire shots wildly," and pointing the gun at officers, himself, passers-by and an overhead helicopter, Salazar said on Saturday.
Mireles broadcast portions of the pursuit on his own Facebook page, Salazar said.
Sheriff Javier Salazar and Texas DPS Regional Director Phillip Ayala providing updates on the multi-agency pursuit which the suspect shot and killed K9 Deputy ChuckyPosted by Bexar County Sheriff's Office on Monday, January 28, 2019
"That speaks a lot to the character of this person and what little regard for human life he had," Salazar said.
There wasn't time to outfit Chucky with his bulletproof vest, Salazar said, because he and his handler had been part of the active pursuit that included Mireles, at various times, placing the lives of passing drivers in serious danger.
At 11:04 p.m., Chucky was deployed toward Mireles, Salazar said.
"[Chucky] launched himself at a full sprint and attempted to grab hold of suspect," the sheriff said, describing the move as "textbook."
The dog's first attempt to grab Mireles by the arm failed and he was flung about six feet in front of the suspect. Mireles then fired at Chucky. One bullet struck Chucky in his side and mortally wounded him. Salazar said at least one other bullet fired by the suspect grazed the dog's face.
Yet, the dog continued struggling with Mireles.
"Chucky stayed in the fight," Salazar said. "You can't ask much more of any officer."
After Mireles opened fire, multiple deputies armed with semi-automatic rifles shot at Mireles, striking him several times in the lower extremities. He was arrested and now faces a litany of charges, including interference with a police service animal, attempted capital murder of a police officer, aggravated assault on a public servant, and evading arrest detention with a vehicle.
At least four deputies have been placed on leave in connection to the shooting, Salazar said, while two concurrent investigations take place.
The sheriff said they're not accepting any donations for the funeral because the expenses have been covered.
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