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Palm Beach County Deputies have released a picture of K9 partner Cigo Tuesday. The 3-year-old German Shepherd was shot and killed outside The Mall at Wellington Green on Christmas Eve night in Palm Beach. It happened while deputies were arresting Justin Vazquez, 19, and Giovani Ramos Alvarez, 28, outside the busy mall.
One witness told CBS 4 he saw it all go down in the parking lot.
“I just saw the guy hop out and told him to get down and the other guy got shot,” a shopper said.
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw spoke Monday night and said both men were wanted for attempted first degree murder from a shooting at a bar several weeks ago. The tactical units wanted them off the streets sooner than later.
“It was determined that we are going to take these people off out at the vehicle that they drove up on because we had that area secure, so there would not be any civilians around us,” Bradshaw said.
Deputies said once they moved in, Vazquez followed orders but Alvarez took off running and the k9 went after him. The sheriff told us that’s when Alvarez shot the k9 with a .45 semi-automatic pistol and then fired at deputies. Two deputies fired back hitting Alvarez.
As of Tuesday night, Alvarez was still listed in serious condition after being shot multiple times in the torso.
Now that both suspects have been captured, deputies are now focused on healing.
It’s difficult anytime you lose a dog. But remember, the dog did his job,” Bradshaw said.
Vazquez was booked inside the Palm Beach jail.