Florida K9 killed after gunman opens fire near mall, investigators say

Deputies are investigating a Christmas Eve shooting near a South Florida shopping mall that killed a heroic K9 officer named Cigo.

The dog was credited with saving the life of the deputies, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw of the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office said at a news conference Monday evening.

“He did his job, giving his life to save and protect our own,” Bradshaw said.

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His office tweeted that a suspect shot at deputies and hit a K9 officer.

The suspect was shot by deputies and was taken to a hospital for treatment, as WSVN reported.

The K9 officer was being treated at a veterinarian emergency center, but The Miami Herald reported that Cigo died during surgery.

The sheriff’s office said The Mall at Wellington Green in Palm Beach County was locked down as deputies investigated the shooting.

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The Mall at Wellington Green has more than 160 shops and restaurants in a part of South Florida known for its equestrian community.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.