ST. GEORGE — Three weeks after returning to duty following a machete attack in February, a Las Vegas Police K-9 officer was shot and killed Thursday in the line of duty while attempting to apprehend a gunman.
“It is with heavy hearts this afternoon that we inform everyone about the loss of a valuable member of the LVMPD crime-fighting team,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police announced on social media Thursday. “Just two months after surviving a brutal stabbing, police dog Nicky was fatally shot while attempting to subdue a murder suspect.”
Just before noon Thursday Las Vegas Police Sgt. Eric Kerns and his K-9 counterpart, Nicky, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, responded to the 9800 block of Fast Elk Street on a report of a subject armed with a firearm in the residential neighborhood.
“The LVMPD Dispatch Center then received additional calls reporting a male armed with a handgun was walking down the street and firing shots,” the Police Department said in a media statement issued Friday. “Callers also reported the possibility that two people may have been injured inside of a residence.”
Kerns and Nicky were confronted by the gunman at the scene and shots were fired, Las Vegas Police Capt. Shawn Andersen said in a media statement Thursday. During an exchange of gunfire with the suspect, K-9 Nicky was killed.
The suspect was shot, as well, and was transported to the University Medical Center Trauma Center of Southern Nevada, Andersen said in a video statement released by the department.
“Not to be lost in this story,” police said, “is the fact that two people were senselessly murdered at the scene.”
Officers then went to the residence the suspect reportedly had come out of and located two apparent murder victims, Andersen said. The man and woman were deceased from apparent gunshot wounds.
The ultimate sacrifice
Nicky had garnered widespread media attention after he was attacked Feb. 12 by a violent suspect armed with a machete. Nicky was rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery for his wounds.
Nicky was stabbed several times in the face during the machete attack, police said, but recovered quickly from his injuries.
His recovery was widely covered and he became the center of a fundraising campaign for the police department’s K-9 unit.
After being sidelined for a month, police said Nicky was eager to get back to work. Nicky returned to duty just three weeks prior to being fatally shot Thursday doing what he was trained to do: catching bad guys and keeping communities safe.
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