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An ex-con with a history of violence and fleeing law enforcement allegedly shot and killed a Unified police dog early Thursday before he was subdued and arrested in Millcreek.
Based on information officers had from a protected source, the U.S. Marshal's Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team found Torey Chase Massey, a 28-year-old parole fugitive wanted for theft, robbery and aggravated assault, as he drove near 3300 South and 1100 East about 1 a.m., according to UPD Lt. Brian Lohrke.
A pursuit ensued, with UPD officers spiking Massey's tires. However, he continued a short distance before abandoning his vehicle in the Brickyard Plaza shopping mall area and fled on foot.
"A UPD K-9 was deployed with the intent of capturing Massey. Officers heard the [dog] engage Massey, then heard a multitude of gunshots," Lohrke said. "Massey broke free and continued to run where he was ultimately captured by other officers."
The critically wounded dog, "Dingo," was rushed to a nearby animal hospital, but efforts to save him were unsuccessful.
Dingo was 7 years old. The Belgian Malinois had been with UPD for five years, all under the care of K-9 unit Sgt. Chad Reyes.
A memorial service will be held for Dingo, said Lohrke, who said details were still being arranged.
The Salt Lake City Police Department has been tasked with investigating charges against Massey in the slaying of the canine officer.
The department did not commented on which specific charges might be pursued, but a statute in the Utah Code states that intentionally killing or harming a police service animal is a third-degree felony.
Massey, who reportedly escaped Metro Gang Unit detectives during a pursuit last week, was is in the custody of the U.S. Marshal's Office.
Massey has an extensive state felony criminal history, ranging from robbery and aggravated assault to drug violations
In 2007, he was sentenced to prison for up to 10 years for stabbing a man in the stomach with a knife. A fight ensued after Massey and a group he was with exchanged glances and words with the victim and his friends, who were having a barbecue at a West Jordan apartment complex, police said at the time.
Massey was charged with first-degree felony attempted murder, but pleaded guilty to lesser third-degree felony counts of aggravated assault and obstruction of justice.
Between February 2014 and March of last year, he was convicted on felonies including forgery and possession of stolen property to drug-related and fleeing counts.
Utah Department of Corrections records show that Massey had been released on probation or parole five times in the past 10 years, only to return for new offenses. He was last released from the Utah State Prison on April 11 of this year.