MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an officer-involved shooting near a mall in Wellington.
Late Monday, Palm Beach deputies have confirmed a K-9 partner was shot and killed outside a mall in The Village of Wellington on Christmas Eve.
The 3-year-old K-9, whose name was Cigo, was shot while chasing a suspect, who deputies say is a known gang member, outside the Mall at Wellington Green. It happened not far from the food court. Deputies fired at the suspect, striking him.
“The dog did his job. He saved those deputies lives.”
Moments later, deputies arrested two attempted first degree murder suspects, that stems from a bar shooting weeks ago. Monday night, deputies were questioning a third person to figure out their identify and if that person was also involved in an attempted murder.
“We got two very dangerous people off the street. Unfortunately, he took the life of one of our dogs,” Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said.
The sheriff said the suspect who shot the K-9 and shot at deputies had a .45 semi-automatic weapon. The sheriff told us it’s the same weapon that was used in the bar shooting.
The tactical units were alerted the two suspects were at the mall with a third person. The units then watched the suspects on video and then decided to make an arrest in the parking lot of the mall.
“We had that area secured so there wouldn’t be any civilians around,” Sheriff Bradshaw said.
One shopper told CBS 4, he was nearby and watched the deputy-involved shooting.
“I saw the cops hop out and told the guy to get down and saw the guy got shot and that it,” the shopper said.
The mall was quickly placed on lockdown. Security and law enforcement then went store to store escorting people out the mall and away from the scene. However, many couldn’t leave right away because their cars were in the crime scene.
One mall employee told CBS 4 she had presents inside her car and didn’t want to leave her vehicle behind.
“I won’t leave without my daughter’s presents. They’re in the car,” Neveen Mitta said.
Deputies said the suspect who was shot by deputies was wounded in the torso. The other suspect wasn’t injured by gunfire. The third person in custody was also not hit by bullets.