Sunnyvale, CA - Sunnyvale Police K9 Jax was murdered in the line of duty on Tuesday.
The incident occurred on Oct. 31, at 1 p.m., in the Encasa apartment complex located at East Weddell Drive off Fair Oaks Avenue, according to The Mercury News.
Sunnyvale Police responded to a report of a stabbing, and upon arrival found a 25-year-old woman who had been stabbed in the abdomen.
The victim told police that her boyfriend attacked her during an argument, and that he was still inside their apartment, which was nearby.
Officers went to the apartment and tried repeatedly to get the man to come outside.
Jesus Birelas-Contreras, 25, refused the officers' commands, and K9 Jax was sent in.
The suspect attacked the K9, and stabbed him with a knife.
After he attacked the K9 officer, Birelas-Contreras threw a knife at the human police officers.
In response, Sunnyvale Police Lt. Emmett Larkin opened fire with his service weapon, and shot Birelas-Contreras. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died.
The domestic violence victim was transported to a local hospital, where she was treated and released, according to Sunnyvale Police Chief Phan Ngo.
K9 Jax was transported to a local veterinary hospital, where he died later that night.
Birelas-Contreras’ criminal history was not released, but a short search by The Mercury News showed more than 30 arrests associated with his name and date of birth.
Lt. Larkin was placed on administrative duty, which is standard policy, while the officer-involved shooting is investigated.
K9 Jax was a four-year-old German Shepherd, who had served for two years alongside his handler.
“It’s a huge loss. (Jax) was a family member, and his void will always be felt. He will always be in our hearts,” Chief Ngo said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with K9 Jax's handler, K9 Officer Stephen Eckford, and the Sunnyvale Police Department.