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Guilty verdict in shooting death of police K9 Dingo

Dingo ready for duty. Photo credit: Lt. Brian Lohrke, UPD

SALT LAKE CITY — A jury has found a Utah man guilty on all counts in the shooting death of police K9 Dingo, who was killed in the line of duty.

Dingo was killed July 6, 2017. Police say a wanted fugitive running from officers shot the dog.

Officers with the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (VFAST) were tracking Torey Massey in July 2017 when they used spike strips to try to stop him. According to police, Massey got out of the car in the area of the Brickyard shopping plaza and ran on foot.

Dingo, a K9 officer with Unified Police, was deployed to catch Massey, but Massey and Dingo rolled down an embankment out of view. Then officers heard gunshots.

During the trial, Dingo’s partner and handler, Chad Reyes, testified to finding his K9 sidekick gasping in pain. But because Massey was still considered a threat to Reyes and the other responding officers, he couldn’t immediately attend to the animal.

“Dingo was coming to me for comfort and help.  I couldn’t direct my attention to him immediately because I was concerned for my own safety,” Reyes said.

Dingo had a bulletproof vest, but Reyes testified that they are heavy, and it can be difficult for police dogs to wear them on hot summer nights, so he wasn’t wearing it that night.

Sentencing will come at a later date, but the maximum penalty Massey could face in the case is up to five years in prison.