FITCHBURG, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A standoff with an armed fugitive suspect who barricaded himself inside a home in Fitchburg on Tuesday resulted in a K9 police dog being shot and killed and the suspect taking his own life, Massachusetts State Police said.
Police said the standoff began Tuesday morning when the suspect, Matthew Mack, 38, barricaded himself inside the multi-family home at 40 Oliver St. after being contacted by members of the Massachusetts Violent Fugitive Apprehension team. Mack was wanted on charges related to a shooting incident on July 21 in Fitchburg.
State police spent several hours trying to convince Mack to exit the home, but were unable to do so. At around 2:50 p.m., a team, including K9 officer Frankie and his handler, was sent in to try to apprehend Mack.
According to police, Mack fired multiple shots at officers during their attempt to apprehend him, striking Frankie.
Frankie was rushed to Wachusett Animal Hospital in Westminster, where he was pronounced dead. None of the human officers were hurt.
Police said at around 5:20 p.m., a drone that was sent into the home to assess the situation found Mack dead of an apparent self-inflected gunshot wound.
Frankie was ten years old at the time of his death and had been a K9 officer for nine years. In 2017, Frankie and his handler Trooper David Stucenski were awarded the Medal of Valor at the state’s annual George L. Hanna Awards for Bravery, Massachusetts' top law enforcement award ceremony.
Frankie is the first Massachusetts State Police K9 killed in the line of duty.
An investigation is ongoing.