? Life Lion -- Life Lion Crew Members Dave Zook, RN and Steve Weihbrecht, EMT-P escorting Fire/EMS personnel to the aircraft to load Zeke (K-9 Dog) for transport to the Vet Hospital.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -
A Harrisburg police K-9 who was shot while assisting with a call in Lower Paxton Township is recovering from surgery and is expected to be released soon.
Zeke, a two-and-a-half year old Belgian Malinois and the newest addition to Harrisburg's K-9 unit, was flown to a veterinary hospital in Mechanicsburg on Friday after being shot in the neck during a police call.
As of Sunday, his caregivers at Rossmoyne Animal Emergency Trauma Center planned on removing his IV and beginning oral medication. They say he has a lot of energy despite the number of stitches in his neck. He should be heading home on Monday.
According to Assistant Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo, police were pursuing a wanted person in the area of Nyes Road, across from Paxtonia Elementary School, just before 6 p.m. when Harrisburg's K-9 unit was called in to assist.
The suspect opened fire and hit Zeke in the neck. After the suspect shot the dog, Chardo said the suspect refused to drop his weapon and was then shot and killed by police.
Officials say the suspect, now identified as 20-year-old Skyler Stewart, was wanted for a stabbing that occurred earlier in the day. District Attorney Ed Marsico said his office is investigating, and will make a decision as to whether the shooting was justified.
Zeke lost a lot of blood because of his injury, so fluids were used to stabilize him until his surgery Saturday morning.
Dr. Mark Meyerhoff operated on Zeke, spending more than two hours trying to repair the gunshot damage to his neck.
"The surgery took a little longer than anticipated. When we got inside there was a bit more trauma to the vessels than we had anticipated and we are expecting a full recovery. Keep the prayers coming," clinic owner Sabrena Mayerhoff said.
The staff is now keeping Zeke comfortable and helping him heal. The clinic is covering his medical bill in full, and Zeke won't be able to return to work for at least a month.
Harrisburg police chief Pierre Ritter said the last time a city K9 was shot was in 2001, and that dog did not survive. The man who shot him is serving time in prison for murder.