Vancouver Island RCMP say a man and a police service dog, Gator, have been killed following a violent confrontation near a Tim Hortons in Campbell River.
Just before 9 a.m. Thursday, an officer tried to stop a vehicle "in relation to an outstanding warrant," an RCMP release says. The vehicle fled the area but was then located in a parking lot on the 2000-block of the South Island Highway.
An officer then "boxed in the vehicle," and a confrontation occurred between the suspect and the officer who had a police service dog.
During the conflict, the dog was "stabbed and killed, and the suspect was shot and pronounced deceased on scene," the release says. The officer also sustained a knife injury and was treated.
Police Service Dog Gator joined the force in June 2016 where he spent his entire career with his handler at the Campbell River detachment.
"The loss of Campbell River's Police Dog Service Gator today, is something I never thought I would have to endure. The importance of the role he played in keeping our community safe will not be forgotten," Insp. Jeff Preston, officer in charge of the Campbell River RCMP wrote in a statement.
Gator was previously named Campbell River's Mountie of the Month for his work, notably assisting in an arrest following an armed grocery store robbery and locating a distressed man during snowy weather.
The area has now been cordoned off, as the Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia has been notified and will be investigating all aspects of the incident.
Island District RCMP Sgt. Chris Manseau says no further information will be released by police.
More to come.