Just before 6 p.m. on Monday Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office units were dispatched to The Mall at Wellington Green. Two suspects had been spotted on surveillance footage.
When police confronted the suspects they opened fire and a K-9 dog was shot.
According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (PBSO) spokesperson, the incident occurred in the parking lot by The Mall at Wellington Green’s food court. At the time, deputies were serving a warrant on two suspects.
The suspects were being served for attempted first-degree murder. Instead of going in quietly, the suspects ended up opening fire at the mall.
For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. Deputies reacted when they saw the suspects on mall surveillance footage.
The authorities waited until the suspects had returned outside to their vehicle. The decision was made in order to apprehend them without putting others at risk.
However, arresting the suspects turned out to be difficult as the shooting started. One of the suspects tried to get away by running and a K-9 dog named Cigo took pursuit.
Trying to get away, the person shot the dog and then proceeded to shoot at deputies who returned fire. The suspect was taken into custody and is now at a local hospital.
The other suspect is also in custody. A third person was taken in for questioning as they were with the two suspects at the mall.
Deputies are trying to figure out how the third person is connected to the other two. Cigo, unfortunately, died while in surgery at a local veterinarian emergency center.
PBSO Sheriff Rick Bradshaw said they would "remember, the dog did his job and he saved those officer's lives." The mall was placed on lockdown while officials investigated; however, it has since closed due to holiday hours.
In a different incident, Virginia Tech campus police announced the death of one of their K-9 dogs. Bax, a recently retired K-9 died due to health issues.
The police stated:
"It is w/heavy & sad hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved K9 Bax. Our gratitude 2 Bax's partner Officer Jaret Reece & family for making Bax a family member & taking care of him. Rest in Peace Bax job well done."