A Chico man who was fatally shot Friday after fleeing police in a stolen vehicle and critically injuring a police dog had several brushes with the law in Butte County.
Sacramento police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante said she could not discuss Lucus Jerome Webb's criminal history. A family member contacted by phone Monday also declined to talk about the 33-year-old, who police say shot the pursuing police dog in the Land Park neighborhood and was then shot by the dog's officer.
But according to Butte Superior Court online case information, Webb was sentenced to eight months in state prison in 2004 for possession of a deadly weapon. He also was the defendant in a weapons case at the time of his death and the subject of a warrant issued by the Chico Police Department.
Police briefly pursued Webb and his passenger, later identified as Leslie McCulley, 28, of Chico, just before 10 a.m. Friday after an officer tried to pull him over near Broadway and 24th Street in a vehicle that Gigante said was stolen out of Chico.
Officers again saw the car in the Land Park area as the two occupants were walking away. Police chased them again, this time into the backyard of a home near Robertson Way and Riverside Boulevard. That's when Webb turned and shot Bodie, the police dog who was pursuing him.
The dog's officer returned fire, striking Webb, who was declared dead at the scene.
McCulley was taken into custody and booked into Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle, possessing a handgun and negligent discharge of a firearm. Authorities said McCulley may have accidentally fired a round in the stolen vehicle.
Bodie was shot twice through the left jaw and once in the paw. He is being treated at Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center in Rancho Cordova, where he underwent surgery. He was reported on the mend Monday.
Gigante said Bodie took a brief walk outside with his handler on Sunday.
"He is doing surprisingly well for the critical injuries that he sustained," she said. "We're still very hopeful of a full recovery."
Gigante expressed appreciation for the community's concern and support for the injured dog.
She said the Police Department had received an offer from Joe Maloof, co-owner of the Sacramento Kings, to purchase a dog for the department.
In Twitter messages, Maloof said, "Last year I had the pleasure of attending a training session with the Sacramento police K9 division. One of the dogs that was training was Bodie. I have always loved dogs and it was truly amazing to watch these dogs train. In appreciation of what the K9 unit does and in honor of Bodie, I would like to purchase and donate a K9 police dog for the Sacramento Police Department K9 association."
Gigante said the purchase cost per dog is about $10,000, and training costs an additional $8,000 before the dogs are ready go on the street. She said the dogs typically are funded through sponsorships and donations, including those from officers who elect to have money deducted from their paychecks and contributed to the Sacramento Police Canine Association.
While it is hoped that Bodie will recover and be able to return to duty, Gigante said another dog is approaching retirement.