A Tulare police officer has been shot and his partner, a police dog, is dead. It was the pairs first weekend on the job together, according to police.
While officers are left mourning the death of one of their own, Tulare County sheriff's detectives are investigating the events that led to the deadly officer-involved shooting on Sunday night.
Witnesses said "dozens" of shots were fired in the area of Tulare Avenue and Palm Street, west of the main city. There are multiple scenes in Tulare stemming from the shooting, police said.
One suspect was killed and another shooter is in "grave" condition in Visalia, Tulare Sgt. Jon Hamlin said.
The incident began around 7 p.m. in the city limits of Tulare when officers tried to pull over a vehicle with three people inside. The driver fled and officers took chase. The pursuit ended in rural Tulare County, west of Tulare city limits.
Witnesses said police were chasing a late-model sedan at high-speeds. They estimated the sedan was topping 100 mph. The driver eventually pulled to the side of a nearby rural road.
A "gun battle" ensued and one officer was shot in the arm and torso. His bullet-proof vest likely saved his life, Hamlin said. Police didn't say what prompted the traffic stop or where it started.
As gunfire was being exchanged, the police officer's K9 partner, Bane, was shot and killed.
The police officer was taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to recover. Bane died at the scene. The police officer has not been identified.
It was the first weekend the partners worked together, according to Hamlin. The officer had just completed the five-week K-9 training.