A Florida sheriff says there is “no doubt” that two police dogs fired shots aimed at officers in the violent arrest of a man accused of shooting a Lyft driver at gunpoint over the weekend.
K-9’s Axe and Endo were shot down Saturday while searching for Shedrick Singleton, Jr., 21, who escaped into the woods in Deltona — about 50 miles north of Orlando — after being put a gun to the head of a Lyft- driver and his minibus, police say.
“There’s no question that K-9 Axe and K-9 Endo took bullets intended for my deputies,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said at a news conference Saturday afternoon.
“Had the officers gone into the woods, the first person to come into contact with Singleton would undoubtedly have been shot.”
No officers were injured and the dogs are recovering at home Wednesday afternoon, the sheriff’s office says, but suspect Singleton remains in hospital with life-threatening injuries after being shot by officers during the encounter.
K-9 Ax was shot in the face on Saturday as he led a sheriff’s deputy into a wooded area in search of Shedrick Singleton, Jr. ‘S***! No, he was shot in the face. He shot my dog,” the deputy shouted
“We’re going to get that bad man. .. You’ve been a good boy,” Deputy AJ Davis said
Ax was treated at a nearby 24-hour vet, as seen in bodycam footage
Bijl was shot in the face shortly after midnight on Saturday. The dog led Deputy AJ Davis to a wooded area near an apartment complex and hardware store in Lowe’s, where Singleton hid after police saw him driving the stolen Kia Sedona minivan.
In chilling bodycam footage, Davis pulls out of the nighttime shooting and yells, “S***! No, he was shot in the face. He shot my dog.’
He loads Ax, who has been spotting repeatedly at this point, in the back of the police car.
‘Goddamnit! You’re all right, buddy,” Davis yelled as he drove to a 24/7 veterinary clinic with a bloodied hand.
“We’re going to get that bad man. We’re going to get him. You’ve been a good boy,” Davis said.
The dogs recovered within hours. Above, Deputy AJ Davis and Axe, who was shot in the face
“These guys are back on their feet,” officers said Saturday, hours after the early morning incident. Above, Deputy Brett Whitson and Endo, who was shot in the leg and chin
Singleton was spotted out of the woods hours later around 2:20 a.m., when officers were already angry over Ax’s shooting.
‘He shot the dog! What the hell is wrong with you?’ cops yell as they grab Singleton on the ground and shoot him multiple times.
He was transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford with life-threatening injuries.
K-9 Endo was shot in the leg and chin during that second encounter.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office posted photos to Facebook of Ax and Endo recovering comfortably in a clinic just hours after the shooting.
Singleton was later detained after exchanging gunshots with officers. He was transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford with life-threatening injuries
“These guys are back on their feet. Thank you all for your kind words, support and prayers,” the department said.
A Lyft driver reported the carjacking that led to the shooting around 11:30 p.m. Friday.
The driver said he picked up Singleton near Sanford and took him to a remote area.
The Lyft driver said the suspect held a gun to his head and forced him out of his white Kia Sedona minivan before stealing it. About 15 minutes later, the stranded victim, whose phone was also stolen in the carjacking, flagged a passing vehicle for help,” officers said.
Singleton left the Kia and retreated to the woods when he was spotted by the police.
“The stolen minibus was put on the license plate reader’s hotlist and later spotted on Lake Helen Osteen Road. Shortly after, the suspect parked and jumped at Deltona Gardens Apartments and entered a wooded area to hide. Air One saw him from above.’