The carjacking suspect accused to fatally shooting a Tucson Police Department K-9 service dog has been identified.
Police say Fernando Velarde-Loureiro, 53, led officers on a high-speed chase through Midtown on Wednesday night that ended with Velarde-Loureiro being shot to death by police after he allegedly shot the K-9 Ivan.
According to a TPD news release, Velarde-Loureiro was found outside a residence in the 2900 block of East 2nd Street. Police say he put a large-caliber revolver to his head. Officer Chris Fenoglio, the K-9 handler released his dog, Ivan, who bit Velarde-Loureiro on his left arm. Velarde-Loureiro then shot K-9 Ivan once at close range, the release said.
After Velarde-Loureiro ignored repeated commands to drop his weapon, Officers Fenoglio, Matthew Merz, Jason Kerns and Jon Collamore all fired multiple shots at him, striking him numerous times, the release said.
The above account varies from that in a post on the Tucson Police Officer's Association Facebook page, which says, "Officer Fenoglio released Ivan after seeing the armed suspect approaching several officers while he was holding a large firearm to his side and slightly behind his back, concealing the gun from the officers he was approaching. At no time did Officer Fenoglio observe the suspect lift the gun to his own head nor indicate that he intended to shoot himself."
Velarde-Loureiro was pronounced dead at the scene. K-9 Ivan was transported to Valley Animal Hospital, where he died after extensive life-saving attempts.
"We immediately gave first aid to the suspect and the dog until TFD arrived and took over, but the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene," said TPD Sgt. Chris Widmer. "The police K-9 was taken to a local animal hospital where it was also pronounced deceased."
The TPD news release said the carjacking was reported at 5460 E. Speedway Blvd. Moments later police spotted the car near East 5th Street and North Alvernon Way. The suspect vehicle fled when police tried to pull it over.
Detectives assigned to the Night Detective Unit, the Homicide Unit and the Office of Internal Affairs are investigating the incident. Homicide and OIA will continue separate investigations.
Officers Fenoglio and Merz are both 13-year veterans of TPD, assigned to the Service Dog Unit. Officer Kerns is a 5-year veteran of TPD, and Officer Collamore is a 9-year veteran of TPD. Both are assigned to the Operations Division Midtown.
The public can donate to the TPD K-9 Unit through a link on the Tucson Police Foundation website: https://www.tucsonpolicefoundation.org/?page_id=28.
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