GARDENA, Calif. – Authorities Saturday identified a man who was fatally shot by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies in Gardena after he killed a Special Enforcement Bureau canine during a standoff.
Willie Pendleton, 61, was identified by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office as the suspect fatally shot by deputies.
The Gardena Police Department requested assistance from the sheriff’s department’s SWAT team and a K-9 unit at 5:42 p.m. Thursday in the 1800 block of West 145th Street, where a suspect had been barricaded for about 33 hours.
The suspect was wanted in connection with a shooting that occurred in the neighborhood Wednesday morning.
The sheriff’s team forced its way into the apartment, prompting Pendleton to open fire, killing Jack, the K-9. Deputies returned fire, killing Pendleton, officials said. Deputies recovered a gun at the scene.
Los Angeles Sheriff Robert Luna tweeted that the dog, a Belgium Malinois imported from the Netherlands, was a “devoted member” of the Special Enforcement Bureau for four years joining the K9 Detail in March 2019.
“K9 Jack saved numerous lives and courageously protected members of the Bureau during countless tactical operations,” Luna said in a Twitter post, adding that he also saved deputies’ lives during Thursday’s shootout.
“K9 Jack was a very social dog with the heart of a warrior,” Luna said. “K9 Jack was not only part of the SEB family, he was a beloved member of his handler’s family. K9 Jack will be sorely missed by his family, the Special Enforcement Bureau and all of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.”
Anyone with information about this shooting was asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to 800-222-8477 or at lacrimestoppers.org.