Florida cop and police dog shot in the line of duty

What began as a routine traffic stop in St. Petersburg, Florida ended with the shooting of a police sergeant, a canine officer and left the suspect dead early Friday morning.

Both Pinellas County Sheriff’s Officer Sergeant David Stang Jr. and K-9 officer Titan are expected to recover.

The altercation began at 1:49 a.m. on March 29 during a traffic stop at 3rd Avenue South and 30th Street South in St. Petersburg. That’s when the suspect abandoned the vehicle, according to investigators.

“Law enforcement officers from the Violent Crimes Task Force initiated a traffic stop for a traffic violation on a vehicle being driven by 23-year-old Elijah Johnson,” the sheriff’s office said.

St. Petersburg Officer Greg Shone and Titan responded to the unfolding investigation, and began tracking Johnson. That’s when police allege Johnson shot Titan in the leg, while Officer Shone was not hurt.

Titan is recovering from surgery. St. Petersburg Police Department/Facebook

Then Sgt. Stang, who was also searching for the suspect in his unmarked cruiser with emergency lights flashing a few blocks away from the initial traffic stop, was shot in the shoulder.

Stang, 51, has been on the force since 2001.

Sergeant David Stang Jr. was shot in the shoulder. Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

Officer Shone has been at the side of his canine cop partner during recovery.

“Sergeant and K-9 both in stable condition,” police said.

Police found Johnson dead a few blocks from the initial traffic stop. He shot himself, police said.

“Sergeant Stang was transported to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg Hospital with non-life threatening injuries,” the sheriff’s office added.

Titan underwent surgery and is in stable condition.

“K-9 Titan is awake and recovering from a gun shot wound to his leg,” St. Petersburg police posted on Facebook along with a video of Titan in post-op. “He is going to be okay. It will be awhile until we know if he can return to work.”

Well wishes are now pouring in for both officers.

Office Greg Shone at the side of his partner, K-9 Officer Titan. St. Petersburg Police Department/Facebook

Photos St. Petersburg Police Department/Facebook

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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