A San Jacinto Police K9 was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday during a search for a suspect, who was himself later shot and killed by deputies, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
The animal's handler had been called up to assist when deputies looking for a wanted felon were tipped off to his location at a home in Hemet, according to the statement.
The K9, named Sultan, went into the crawl space under a residence in the 40200 block of Clark Drive shortly after 2:30 p.m., when an "indistinguishable noise" was heard and the dog emerged with a neck wound.
The dog was rushed to the vet, where he died.
An hours-long standoff with SWAT ensued, and the suspect was shot and killed by deputies after tear gas was deployed and he emerged with a handgun.
The suspect's identity was being withheld pending notification of next of kin, and it was unclear why officers were searching for him or what felony he had been convicted of.
According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Sultan was a Belgian Malinois-German shepherd mix who started patrolling the streets with Deputy Mark Wallace in 2013.
"It's a big loss," San Jacinto Chief of Police and Riverside County Sheriff's Lt. Stephen Mike said, according to NBC4. "We're a family in the valley and the officers are very upset right now."
"He was an amazing, amazing officer," San Jacinto Mayor Crystal Ruiz told NBC4. "He's going to be honored as one of San Jacinto's finest, because that's what he was."
The deputies involved involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave per department policy, according to Sheriff's officials.