A Louisiana police dog was stabbed in the line of duty Tuesday, while protecting his handler from a knife-wielding man who was shot and killed by police, authorities said.
"The deputy believes, had it not been for the K9 Thor, this individual would have killed him," St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain told WGNO News. "He was that close and attempting to stab him. His exact words to me were that this K9 Thor pulled him away, and that's when he started stabbing K9 Thor."
According to the sheriff's office, K-9 Thor, a German shepherd, was tracking two burglary suspects Tuesday afternoon, when he led his handler and another officer to a barn in a residential area.
"The suspect jumped from a pile of debris and attempted to attack one of our deputies with a knife," the sheriff's office said in a Tuesday night press release. "When K-9 Thor engaged him, the suspect then stabbed the dog in the shoulder/neck area."
When the suspect stabbed Thor, the deputies opened fire on him, "ending the threat," police said.
The man, has been identified by WGNO as 30-year-old Darien Greenwood, of Covington, was transported to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
A second suspect, who has not been identified, was taken into custody and remains jailed Wednesday, police said.
K9 Thor, who suffered serious wounds in the attack, was taken to a veterinary hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. He is reportedly in stable condition Wednesday.
Tuesday was not the first time the dog’s police work has put him in harm’s way.
In August 2014, he helped capture John Edward Green, a 33-year-old man who had been dubbed the "Spider-Man burglar." Green, according to The New Orleans Advocate, was being chased by Thor when he pulled the K9 into the Bogue Falaya River and attempted to drown him. When fellow officers arrived on the scene, they jumped into the water and helped Thor subdue the suspect, the newspaper reported.
The sheriff’s office said doctors are hopeful Thor will make a full recovery from his latest brush with death.
"Our prayers to all involved," they wrote on Facebook.