Two Volusia County sheriff K-9s were shot by a fleeing carjacking suspect early Saturday morning in DeLand, a spokesman said.
Deputies returned fire and shot the suspect, 21-year-old Shedrick Singleton Jr., said spokesman Andrew Gant.
A Lyft driver reported a carjacking around 11:30 p.m. Friday after picking up a passenger in Sanford and taking him to a remote area of Reed Ellis Road in the Osteen area. The suspect put a gun to his head and stole the minivan, Gant said.
Deputies spotted the minivan off Lake Helen Osteen Road and Capri Circle near the Deltona Gardens Apartments and Lowe’s and the driver got out and ran into a wooded area, Gant said. K-9 Ax was shot in the face shortly after midnight while K-9 Endo was shot in the paw and chin around 2:20 a.m., according to Gant. The incident was captured on video.
The dogs survived and are receiving “great veterinary care,” Gant said. No one else was hurt in the shooting. Endo is a previous recipient of the VSO Medal of Valor and Purple Heart after he was shot in the neck while responding to a domestic violence call on Nov. 4, 2015, Gant said.
“There is no doubt that K-9 Ax and K-9 Endo took bullets that were meant for my deputies,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said in a media briefing Saturday afternoon. “If the deputies would have gone into the woods, the first person to come in contact with Singleton, without a doubt, would have been shot.”
Singleton was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. He faces charges including armed carjacking and use of a deadly weapon against a police K-9, Gant said.
Four deputies and one DeLand police officer fired their weapons, Gant said. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the shooting.
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