A police dog that was shot while trying to apprehend a suspected burglar in Antioch early this morning has been released from the veterinary hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, Antioch police Lt. Leonard Orman said.
The dog, Thor, a Belgian Malinois, has been with the police department for eight years and will likely return to work after he recovers, Orman said.
The incident began at about 1:14 a.m. when a neighbor called to report a residential burglary in progress at 2100 D St., police said.
The residents were not home at the time and when officers arrived, they sent Thor into the room where they thought the burglar was. Before they were close enough to see into the room, the officers heard two shots fired from a small-caliber gun, Orman said.
When the officers entered the room, the suspect, later identified by the Contra Costa County coroner's office as 29-year-old Antioch resident Christopher Johnson, allegedly leveled a gun at one of the officers, Orman said.
Johnson and the officers began firing at each other and Johnson was killed. The officers were not hurt.
From the preliminary investigation, it appears that Johnson entered the home through a back window, Orman said.
Police believe he shot Thor in the neck while he was trying to get the animal off of him. The bullet exited near the dog's shoulder and does not appear to have hit anything vital, Orman said.
The officers were placed on administrative leave while police and the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office investigate what happened.