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  • Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Drago, a veteran Sacramento County Sheriff's Department police dog, lies inside a recovery room on Friday after being shot through the chest and shoulder in a morning chase to catch a car theft suspect.

  • Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Kelly Pauly checks on Drago, a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department police dog, who was reported in good shape after being shot through the chest and shoulder Friday morning while chasing a fleeing car theft suspect through a field in the Elverta area.

  • Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Drago, a veteran Sacramento County Sheriff's Department police dog, lies inside a recovery room on Friday after being shot through the chest and shoulder while chasing a fleeing car thief through a field in the Elverta area. Veterinarians say Drago, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, was fortunate. Sheriff's officials said the man fired eight shots in the dark at the dog and chasing officers, hitting Drago only once.

  • Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Kelly Pauly takes a blood sample from Drago, a veteran Sacramento County Sheriff's Department police dog reported in good shape after being shot through the chest and shoulder Friday morning while chasing a fleeing car thief through a field in the Elverta area.

  • Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Veterinarian Dr. Chris Wong talks with Deputy John Halk about Drago, a veteran Sacramento County Sheriff's Department police dog, who was reported in good shape after being shot through the chest and shoulder Friday while chasing a suspect through a field in the Elverta area. Veterinarians say Drago, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, was fortunate. Sheriff's officials said the man fired eight shots in the dark at the dog and chasing officers, hitting Drago once.

  • Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Drago, a Belgian Malinois, gets a visit from Deputy John Halk at a veterinary hospital in Sacramento on Friday. The dog was hit by a shot fired by a fleeing suspect in the Elverta area. He was hit by a slug that went through his chest and out his shoulder. Halk said Drago did what he was trained to do: help save officers from getting shot while in search of a suspect.

More Information

Man who killed himself after shooting sheriff's dog identified

Published: Friday, Oct. 18, 2013 - 4:30 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014 - 10:35 am

Drago, a veteran Sacramento County Sheriff's Department police dog, was reported in good shape after being shot through the chest Friday morning while chasing a fleeing suspected car thief through a field in Elverta.

The suspect, who was identified Saturday as Robby Joe Woff, 42, of Sacramento, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he fired at the police dog, sheriff’s officials reported.

Veterinarians are saying Drago, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, was fortunate. Sheriff’s officials said the man fired eight shots in the dark at the dog and chasing officers, hitting Drago once.

“It was a through-and-through wound from chest to shoulder,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman. It partially collapsed a lung but missed other vital organs. “He’s a very lucky dog. He did not require surgery.

“It may be only a matter of weeks before he is back to work.”

The incident began just after 4 a.m. Friday when a resident near Garden Highway in Natomas awoke to hear his car out front being started. He called police. An officer spotted the car minutes later on Interstate 5 and began chasing. Police were assisted in the chase by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

The suspect stopped the vehicle and ran into a field near 16th Street and Kasser Road in the Elverta area. Led by Drago, officers gave chase, but did not fire back for safety reasons.

“It’s pitch black,” Bowman said. “They don’t know what is behind him, around him.”

Officers surrounded the field and called in a helicopter, which used a heat recognition sensor to locate the suspect’s body. Officers called to him, then fired non-lethal shots near the body, Bowman said. When there was no response, they approached and discovered the man had shot himself in the head, she said.

“It was not immediately noticeable because of his dark clothing and the position of his body,” Bowman said. “Once they were close enough to determine that medical issue, an ambulance that had been standing by transported him to a hospital.”

Bowman said the suspect “had signs of life” but later died at a local hospital.


Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.



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