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Autopsy indicates man who shot police dog killed himself

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Nearly three months after a man was mysteriously found dead after shooting a police canine, an autopsy has shed light on his death.

The Office of the Medical Investigator determined that Dale Anthony Lusian, 56, committed suicide. Police said Lusian had been acting suspiciously in a towing company’s parking lot around 4 a.m. March 21. When police arrived, Lusian barricaded himself in an on-site trailer and refused to come out, police said.

Rico – a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois – was sent to sniff out the suspected burglar, which is when the dog was critically injured by gunfire. Rico survived the incident.

Police said they found Lusian dead in the trailer and refused to say how he died, except that no officer had fired his or her weapon.

The autopsy, released by OMI last week, said a gun was found next to Lusian’s body, and that the man was shot once in the chest. The autopsy said the range was “undetermined,” and no soot or burn marks were found on Lusian’s body or clothing. The bullet had traveled from left to right and downward.

Bean bag rounds – presumably from APD – had fractured some of Lusian’s facial bones, and were embedded in his face. He also had injuries that appeared to have been caused by a dog, including puncture wounds and scrapes.

He had a bracelet with blue stones, $125 in cash and a protein bar on him, along with other personal items, including gloves.