Lake County police dog recovering after being shot in face

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Blade/Photo from Lake County K9 Association

LAKE COUNTY, Ind. – A police dog and a suspect were wounded in a police action shooting in northwest Indiana Wednesday afternoon.

According to Indiana State Police, a Lake County officer was making a traffic stop around 3 p.m. when a passenger ran out of the vehicle and the driver took off.

The officer and his K-9 partner chased after the passenger, who went down an alley and opened fire. The police dog, Blade, was shot in the face. The suspect was hit when the officer returned fire.

The suspect, identified as 18-year-old Marquis Thomas of Merrillville, suffered life-threatening injuries and went to an area hospital. The driver of the vehicle was later found and made a statement to police.

Blade is a four-year veteran of the department. He’s credited with saving his partner’s life.

“He grabbed the weapon and he saved the officer’s life. There’s no doubt about it. He took the bullet for the officer,” Lake County Sheriff John Buncich told WLS-TV.

Blade went to a local animal hospital for treatment before being transported to Purdue Veterinary Hospital in West Lafayette.

In a Facebook post, the Lake County K9 Association said Blade was stable and doing well. A Thursday update said Blade had surgery to remove bullet fragments from his jaw Wednesday night and would undergo another procedure to repair his broken jaw.

“Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and support,” the group posted.