Richland County Sheriff's Office K9 shot, killed during chase after coming off leash, officials say

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RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WYFF) — A Richland County Sheriff's Office K9 was hit and killed during a chase when his leash broke, according to the Richland County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities say K9 Wick was part of a chase around 1 a.m. Thursday.

Officers said they initiated a traffic stop after spotting a stolen vehicle and the suspect refusing to stop.

A chase began and continued on Interstate 77.

Officers said at mile 2 they deployed stop sticks and the suspect vehicle stopped.

At that point, the suspect ran away, deputies said.

With the suspect still in sight, K9 Specialist Zaid Abdullah deployed K9 Wick.

Authorities said that during the chase, K9 Wick's leash broke and Wick was able to get away.

Wick continued to pursue the suspect on the northbound side of the highway when he was struck by a vehicle.

K9 Wick died instantly.

The driver of the vehicle that struck K9 Wick has been identified and the South Carolina Highway Patrol will investigate the collision.

Authorities are still trying to find the suspect.

K9 Wick was a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois and worked at the Richland County Sheriff's Office for a year and a half.

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