Mass. K-9 jumps fence, finds man accused of shooting gun during dispute

The K-9 located the man hiding in a backyard shed after authorities say he opened fire with a pistol at a residence

Kristin LaFratta, Springfield, Mass.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Massachusetts State Police K9 Neko, with the help of his Trooper Dan Purtell and other patrols, located a suspect who allegedly opened fire in a Woburn home overnight.

Neko located the man hiding in a backyard shed in the early morning hours on Friday, after authorities say the man opened fire with a pistol at a Woburn residence. The suspect, who was also the subject of an outstanding warrant, is not being named because authorities believe the incident was a domestic dispute.

Troopers responded to Samoset Road in Woburn around 2:25 a.m. Friday to search for a man who fired a gun and fled on foot, state police said in a statement.

Purtell, a K9 unit trooper, deployed his partner Neko in the area the suspect was last seen. The dog acquired the suspect’s scent and tracked it from the yard to across the street, and into a backyard on Anna Road where the incident occurred, state police said.

Neko pulled behind a shed and tracked a stream of water, up to an embankment and over a chainlink fence into another yard. State police said the dog tried to pull through a broken wooden fence, but Purtell guided him toward an open gate and into another backyard.

According to state police, Neko then jumped another fence and “became frantic," starting to whine. He jumped on a trash barrel and tried to jump onto a shed, but Purtell restrained him. The dog began to bark and troopers got into tactical positioning. Purtell then ordered anyone in the shed to surrender.

The suspect could be heard yelling, “OK, I don’t have a gun,” according to state police. He then exited the shed with his hands on his head and was placed into custody without incident.

Troopers did not locate the gun in the shed and began to search for it around the neighborhood -- before they realized Neko had found it.

“Neko began circling and zig-zagging across yard before crouching down and staring at Trooper Purtell. Trooper Purtell looked down and saw a black semi-automatic pistol under Neko’s paws,” state police said in a statement.

Woburn police secured the pistol and later found two shell casings in the house where the incident began.

The unnamed suspect was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.


MSP K9 Neko Tracks Suspect Who Fired Gun in Woburn Neighborhood At approximately 2:25 a.m. State Police patrols and an...

Posted by Massachusetts State Police on Friday, May 10, 2019


©2019, Springfield, Mass.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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