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Man who stabbed police dog and threatened officers is shot and killed

March 20, 2009 |  5:04 pm

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San Diego police shot and killed a 50-year-old man who lunged at them with a 10-inch knife after his wife made a panicky call to police for help, police said Friday.

Willard Anthony Bradley stabbed a police dog before advancing on officers, police said. Bradley was pronounced dead at the scene.

His 50-year-old wife, whose name was not disclosed, was found dead in the living room of their home in the Paradise Hills neighborhood.

The police dog, an 8-year-old German shepherd named Earp, was rushed to a veterinary clinic, bleeding profusely from deep wounds to his neck.

Police Chief Bill Lansdowne went to the clinic as Earp had emergency surgery. The dog was within weeks of being retired from the K-9 corps.

“It was close there, but he’s going to make it,” Lansdowne said. “I’m going to give him a medal.”

Veterinarian Rob Tugend said Earp was near death when he arrived at the clinic in the back of a police car with its lights flashing and siren blaring.

“He was pretty far gone; a couple more minutes and we’d have lost him,” said Tugend, who is the Police Department’s veterinarian and had treated Earp during his years in the department.

Tugend said that transfusions provided blood and fluids to the dog while the blood vessel was stitched up and the bleeding finally stemmed.

The incident began when a woman called the Police Department, saying her husband had a knife and was threatening suicide. When police arrived, the man announced that he had killed his wife and planned to kill the police, according to Lt. Terry McManus of the department’s homicide unit.

No motive for the attack on the woman has been determined, police said.

About eight hours after surgery, Earp was released to his handler, Sgt. Jeff Havin. A followup visit is planned for Saturday, Tugend said.

-- Tony Perry

Photo: San Diego police dog Earp, an 8-year-old German shepherd, is recovering from his stabbing injuries after a roughly-eight hour surgery. Credit: John Gibbins / San Diego Union-Tribune/ZUMA Press