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TBI: Man killed, K-9 injured in shootout with La Vergne Police officers

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Posted at 1:41 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 12:51:48-05

LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee Bureau of Investigation officials say a man has died after a shootout with La Vergne police Tuesday.

The shooting happened around noon. A La Vergne officer and K-9 were in a vehicle pulling out of the department's parking lot when another vehicle pulled up beside him and fired shots into the officer's vehicle, according to the TBI.

The officer was not injured, but the K-9 was hit. The officer chased the vehicle into an apartment complex on the 1500 block of Rutherford Point Circle where other officers joined.

The driver got out of the vehicle and allegedly fired more shots at the officers, prompting the officers to return fire. That's when the TBI says the suspect got back into the vehicle to drive away but crashed at the end of the parking lot.

Officers were then able to take the gunman, who had been hit, into custody. He died from his injuries, but officials say it's unclear if the shot was self-inflicted or from one of the officers.

The La Vergne police K-9, named Sjaak, was rushed to an emergency animal hospital, where he underwent surgery. Police said he was shot three times.

Sjaak, a Belgian Malinois, has been with the department for four years. His handler Officer Justin Darby was not hurt in the shooting.

Sjaak
Sjaak

"We're all praying for Sjaak and Officer Darby," interim Chief Chip Davis said. "A K-9 is more than just a dog to our handlers, they're a partner."

He remains in critical but stable condition and will undergo another emergency surgery on Wednesday.