SAN DIEGO — A police dog was killed in what the San Diego Police Officers Association (SDPOA) described as a “violent shooting” Wednesday morning.

In a tweet at 4:57 a.m., authorities noted the police dog “saved the lives of the officers and citizens” in the area of San Diego Mesa College in Clairemont.

Authorities initially responded to a call from a 26-year-old man, who was not injured, reporting a shooting outside of his home in the 3500 block of Ben Street in the Clairemont Mesa East neighborhood, Lt. Joseph Jarjura with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

Prior to the shooting, the victim drove around a white Tesla sedan that was driving erratically when the driver of the Tesla followed the victim to the location he parked, according to law enforcement.

“A passenger got out of the Tesla and fired rounds at the victim. One of those rounds went into a residence near the victim’s vehicle. No residents were injured. The Tesla drove away,” Jarjura said.

When officers located the Tesla, they saw an armed 33-year-old man in the driver’s seat, per the sheriff’s department. The officers attempted to pull over the vehicle but the driver drove away.

Authorities say the Tesla then made its way on the Mesa college campus where it had been involved in a single-vehicle crash.

“The driver’s door was open and no one was inside the vehicle. Shortly after, officers located the suspect on foot on Mesa College Circle. The suspect had a gun in his possession and was talking on the phone,” Jarjura said.

FOX 5 was at the scene on Mesa College Circle and Armstrong Road Wednesday morning. The area was blocked off and the streets were closed to traffic for an investigation.

Police say the shooting incident came to an end in this area and a white Tesla — the suspect’s vehicle — remained at the scene.

Police say they spotted the suspect on the run further down the street at Mesa College Circle, armed with a gun. Police say a K-9 officer was deployed at that point.

“The suspect still had a handgun. They gave the suspect commands to drop the handgun. The suspect did not comply. A canine handler released his partner to try to stop the suspect. The suspect produced his gun — fired one shot — which prompted one San Diego Police officer officer to discharge his weapon,” said Lt. Joseph Jarjura with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department Homicide Unit.

The K-9 was shot by the suspect, according to officials. The dog was taken to a veterinarian hospital and was pronounced dead.

SDPD told FOX 5 the K-9 officer’s name was “Sir.”

San Diego Police K-9 Officer 'Sir'
San Diego Police K-9 Officer ‘Sir’ died in the line of duty on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023. (Photo: SDPD)

Also during the incident, a San Diego police officer discharged his weapon and hit the suspect, SDPD confirmed. The suspect — whose identity has not been released — was taken to a local hospital, where he was also pronounced dead.

All other officers and civilians involved in the shooting were reported to be uninjured.

Summer classes at the college are still in session, but no class cancellations have been announced at this time in connection to this incident.

In a statement, SDPD noted, “This marks the second loss of a police canine in the line of duty — a somber reminder of the risks faced by all our officers, both two and four-legged. We are genuinely touched by the outpouring of support and condolences we’ve received. Together, we will remember K-9 Sir, celebrate his life, and honor his heroic service.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330/after hours at (858) 565-5200.  You can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

FOX 5’s Elizabeth Alvarez and Domenick Candelieri contributed to this report.