Suspect, sheriff’s K9 killed as standoff ends with shootout in Gardena apartment

A 63-year-old man shot and killed a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department K9 and fired at deputies before they returned fire, killing him and ending a nearly 36-hour standoff in Gardena on Thursday, Dec. 22, authorities said.

The man, wanted on suspicion of shooting at a neighbor during a dispute Wednesday morning, had barricaded in his apartment in the 1800 block of West 145th Street since about 8 a.m. that day, Gardena Sgt. Brian Messina said.

Gardena officers had attempted negotiating with him via cell phone and had requested the assistance of the Sheriff’s Department after 24 hours, Gardena Capt. Todd Fox said.

About 5:40 p.m., deputies with the Special Enforcement Bureau, the department’s SWAT team, along with the K9, entered the apartment and found the suspect, who pulled out a firearm and shot the dog, then shot at deputies, the department said.

Deputies returned fire and hit the suspect, the department said. He died in the apartment.

The K-9, a Belgium Malinois named Jack, was imported from the Netherlands and had been a member of the Special Enforcement Bureau since March 2019, Sheriff Robert Luna tweeted.

“We lost one of our partners today,” Sheriff Robert Luna tweeted early Friday morning. “K9 Jack was tragically shot and killed by a violent armed suspect during a tactical operation in Gardena.

“K9 Jack was a very social dog with the heart of a warrior,” Luna continued. “Jack was not only part of the (SEB) family he was a beloved member of his (handlers’) family.”

We lost one of our partners today.  

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the  death of beloved Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) K9 Jack.

— Robert Luna (@LACoSheriff) December 23, 2022

The suspect was not identified by law enforcement officials pending notification of his relatives.

Wednesday morning, the suspect was in a dispute with a neighbor and fired shots at him as he sat in his vehicle. The driver’s door was hit by a bullet, but the neighbor escaped injury, Messina said.

Why the two were in a dispute was unclear.

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