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California police dog killed by friendly fire in line of duty

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Long Beach police say friendly fire killed a police dog that died fighting a man who charged officers with a knife.

A four-year-old Belgian Malinois called Credo died after an officer opened fire Tuesday.

CBS Los Angeles reported that officers ordered the suspect to come out of the apartment. He did and "began to aggressively charge the officers, intermediate force options were deployed, including a 40mm rubber baton round and a Police Service dog attached to S.W.A.T.," according to a police news release.

As Credo, the police dog, tried to stop the suspect from advancing toward officers, the suspect pulled out a knife. That is when one officer opened fire, hitting the suspect and the canine, the release said.

The suspect later died.

Police say he was wanted in connection with a December 2014 shooting that wounded several people.

After the shooting, Credo's handler, Officer Mike Parcells, carried his partner's limp body from the scene. He placed him into a patrol car and drove him to a nearby hospital, where the dog was declared dead, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Parcells was visibly shaken and upset. He ripped off his helmet and hurled it away before burying his head in his hand.

"These service dogs, these canines are not just dogs. These are police officers. This dog was injured in the performance of his duty. And that's going to weigh heavily on the Long Beach police family," Long Beach police Deputy Chief Richard Conant said.

Conant said Credo worked patrol and narcotics operations primarily and was involved in more than 30 arrests, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Parcells, who has been with the department for more than 20 years, also lost a police dog partner in 2005.

Ranger, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois, was fatally shot Oct. 2, 2005 while police tried to flush an armed parolee from a hiding spot under a porch.

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