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A Montgomery Police Department K9 and its handler have been removed from the field after both were involved in a police operation that left one man dead Sunday.
MPD Capt. Regina Duckett on Monday confirmed the handler was placed on administrative leave, and the police dog is under quarantine at a city kennel.
Montgomery police said Sunday the man was believed to have been burglarizing a Cresta Circle home when the homeowner approved a K9 unit entry.
Investigators haven’t confirmed the man’s cause of death. MPD confirmed the police dog “apprehended” the man in the operation, who later died after being taken to a hospital.
Alabama’s State Bureau of Investigation is conducting an external review of the incident, which is normal protocol after lethal police operations.
“We’re investigating this as a use-of-force investigation as we normally would,” SBI Capt. Joe Herman said.
Less than 24 hours after the incident, the Cresta Circle home burned in a house fire Montgomery fire officials said caused “total loss.”
Montgomery Fire/Rescue Lt. J.D. Cupps confirmed it was the same home and said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. No one was at the house at the time of the fire.
Herman said the suspected burglar’s identity hadn’t been confirmed as of midday Monday, but an autopsy was conducted Monday morning.
MPD responded to the 3800 block of Cresta Circle at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday on a burglary-in-progress call.
“Upon MPD’s arrival at the scene it appeared that the suspect was inside the residence, and the homeowner approved a K9 unit entry,” MPD’s Lt. Andre Mitchell said in an emailed statement.
The quarantined police dog is one of five certified canines in the Montgomery Police Department. There are nine officers assigned to the K9 unit as handlers.
Sunday’s death is the third this year connected to Montgomery police operations. In February, an officer shot and killed a man after a police officer was shot on Westcott Street.
In May, an officer shot and killed a woman on Kiwanis Street. Police said a two-officer unit was responding to a stolen vehicle call when the driver accelerated, dragging one officer under the car.
Both officers were placed on administrative leave. Officers typically remain on leave until the State Bureau of Investigations concludes an external investigation.
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