WEYMOUTH, MASS. (WHDH) - A Braintree K9 who is being hailed a hero was shot and killed during an ambush involving a wanted man Friday.

Two officers and K9 Kitt were shot after responding to a reported domestic incident inside an apartment complex on McCusker Drive just before 1 p.m. when they learned the suspect had fled into a nearby wooded area, according to Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey.

Three police officers, including a K9 handler, entered the woods but encountered heavy gunfire from the suspect, according to Morrissey. The K9, a 12-year veteran of the Braintree Police Department, was killed by the initial wave of gunfire. 

“It also shows you, in the middle of the afternoon, how dangerous this job is and the courage that the officers have walking through a wooded area like this in exchange of gunfire,” Chief Mark W. Dubois said during a press conference.

7NEWS later learned that Kitt jumped on top of his handler as the gunshots were exchanged in order to save that officer’s life.

“I have known the dog since he came on the force and he is a hero. He really was, and he died a hero,” Mayor Charles Kokoros said.

Both officers were taken to area hospitals. They are expected to survive.

A procession escorted Kitt to an animal hospital in Weymouth where dozens of officers from Franklin to Mashpee waited to mourn the loss.

As the dog was removed from the SUV, many became emotional as they saluted the fallen K9.

“It’s tragic for us, for our K9,” Dubois said. “That dog is incredible and has been a very successful 12 year veteran of the department. Partnered with the same officer for that entire time. It’s heartbreaking.”

The suspect, who was said to be in his 30s, was later pronounced dead at Milton Hospital.

(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox