Rico, the 4-year-old Belgian Malinois shot multiple times by a burglary suspect early Saturday “is up and moving and we are hopeful for his recovery,” Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Tasia Martinez said Monday evening.
Meanwhile, the burglary suspect has been identified as Dale Anthony Lusian, 56. He was found dead in the Northeast Heights towing lot after apparently shooting Rico. Police have not said how Lusian died, only that APD officers did not discharge their weapons.
Lusian, originally from Minnesota, has a criminal record in that state as well as in Wyoming and Arizona, Martinez said. He had an active warrant for absconding from parole in Arizona, “where he had served time in prison for a number of years until his release to parole in 2003.” Lusian has also used the names David Johnson, Dale Daniels and Dale Johnson.
Police responded to the call of a suspicious person in the fenced in lot of C.T. Towing near San Pedro and Alameda NE about 4 a.m. Saturday. Rico was sent in to try to locate the individual when shots rang out. Officers then entered the lot and found the suspect dead as well as Rico with gunshot wounds to his head and neck. A veterinarian performed emergency surgery on Rico and removed a bullet that had lodged near the dog’s spine.
“He is a strong boy,” said Martinez. “His handler’s family is showering him with lots of love and attention and he is loving it.”
Police are continuing their investigation into the incident.