Man Pleads Guilty To Shooting Police K-9 During Chase

GULFPORT, Miss (AP) — A man has pleaded guilty to shooting and injuring a police K-9 during a chase in Mississippi earlier this year.

Richard J. McGuire, 44, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport, Mississippi, to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of animal crushing.

The plea stems from an incident in March, when Moss Point police officers responded to an alarm call at a restaurant and gas station in southern Mississippi, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. After searching the area, police found McGuire behind another business. He fled when officers approached him.

A police K-9 named “Buddy” was released to find McGuire. The dog pursued McGuire into a wooded area when officers heard two gunshots. Buddy was later found to have been shot in the chest.

Officers apprehended McGuire and said they found him with a sawed-off shotgun and body armor. As a previously convicted felon, McGuire was prohibited from possessing the weapon.

Buddy survived and will return to work soon, prosecutors said.

McGuire, who is from Mobile, Alabama, will be sentenced in November. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for possession of a firearm and seven years for animal crushing.

An attorney for McGuire could not immediately be reached for comment.