VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Two Volusia Sheriff’s Office K-9s are recovering from gunshot wounds on Saturday after being shot by carjacking suspect fleeing from deputies early Saturday morning.
Deputies received a call reporting a carjacking around 11:30 p.m. Friday.
According to deputies, a Lyft driver told them he picked up a passenger in Sanford and drove him to his a destination, a remote area on Reed Ellis Road in the Osteen area.
Deputies said that was when the suspect pulled a gun and forced the driver from his white Kia Sedona minivan before stealing it. The victim then flagged down a passing car for help.
The stolen minivan was later located on Lake Helen Osteen Road.
According to deputies, the suspect abandoned the minivan at Deltona Gardens Apartments and fled into a wooded area.
Multiple agencies, including Seminole County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, assisted in this incident.
According to deputies, both K-9s were shot within hours of each other.
Deputies said K-9 Ax, who was shot in the side of his face shortly after midnight, was rushed to a veterinarian by his handler, Deputy A.J. Davis.
K-9 Endo, who was shot in the paw and the chin in the second shooting around 2:20 a.m., was rushed to another vet clinic by his handler, Deputy Brett Whitson. No other officers were injured in the incident.
*Warning: Photos of injured K-9s*
The suspect, 21-year-old Shedrick Singleton Jr., was shot multiple times by deputies at the scene off Lake Helen Osteen Road and Capri Circle, near Deltona Gardens Apartments and a Lowe’s store.
He was transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford with life-threatening injuries.
“There is no doubt that K-9 Ax and K-9 Endo took bullets that were meant for my deputies,” Sheriff Chitwood said in a media briefing Saturday afternoon, praising the bravery of the dogs that had to be pulled away from the suspect even after they were shot. “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.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also responded to the scene and will be handling the shooting investigation. Four deputies and one DeLand police officer fired their weapons. The deputies will be temporarily placed on paid administrative leave, per standard practice following a deputy-involved shooting.
Singleton was served with warrants at the hospital Tuesday for charges of carjacking with a firearm and shooting a police dog. Deputies say they expect to file additional charges against Singleton as their investigation continues.
He remains in the hospital with bond set at $100,000.
K-9 Ax was treated at the Animal Emergency Hospital Volusia in Ormond Beach, where the Daytona Beach Police Department sent its own K-9s to donate blood for him.
Endo was treated at the Veterinary Emergency Center of East Volusia in South Daytona. 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.
See more in the video above.
©2021 Cox Media Group