Officers pay their respects to fallen K-9 Credo as he is carried from the hospital by K-9 officers. Courtesy Long Beach Police
Officers pay their respects to fallen K-9 Credo as he is carried from the hospital by K-9 officers. Courtesy Long Beach Police

Authorities Friday identified a man killed in an officer-involved shooting in Long Beach that also left a Long Beach K-9 service dog fatally wounded by friendly fire.

The shooting occurred about 9 a.m. Tuesday after officers were called to apprehend a man wanted in connection with a December 2014 gang-related shooting that left three men with non-life-threatening injuries, the Long Beach Police Department reported.

Barry Prak, 27, of Long Beach died at a hospital, coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said.

Also killed in the shooting was Credo, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois that had been with the Long Beach Police Department for two years.

Prak had been spotted by members of a U.S. Marshals Service task force that includes Long Beach police. He ran from the area of 16th Street and Temple Avenue to the apartment of an acquaintance in the 2800 block of East 15th Street, according to the LBPD.

The area was surrounded and a Long Beach police SWAT team was summoned. Nearby residences were evacuated and Prak was ordered to exit the apartment, police said.

According to a police statement, Prak exited, but failed to comply with officers’ verbal commands and instead “began to aggressively charge the officers.”

Officers deployed “intermediate force options,” including a 40mm rubber baton round and the canine Credo, who was attached to the SWAT team.

Credo tried to stop Prak’s advance toward officers and as the dog fought with him, he produced a knife and one officer discharged his weapon to protect himself and his colleagues, police said.

Both Prak and Credo were struck by that officer’s gunfire, but police have not said if the dog’s handler, 23-year LBPD veteran Mike Parcells, fired the fatal shots. A knife was recovered at the scene.

Following the shooting, an officer was seen carrying Credo’s limp body from the scene and placing the canine on a sidewalk. The officer, believed to be Parcells, was visibly angry and shaken, ripping off his helmet and hurling it away before burying his head in his hand.

The dog was then placed into a patrol car and driven by Parcells to a nearby animal hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Parcells has been a K-9 handler for 16 years. Another of his police dog partners, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois named Ranger, was fatally shot Oct. 2, 2005, while police tried to flush an armed parolee from a hiding spot under a porch.

A memorial service for Credo is scheduled for July 20 at 1 p.m. at LBPOA Park, 7390 East Carson St., which is at the Long Beach Towne Center behind Lowe’s.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Credo’s name to the LB Police K-9 Officers Association, P.O. Box 17366, Long Beach, CA 90807-7366, or online at Condolence messages to Parcells can be sent to: K-9 Detail, 400 W. Broadway, Long Beach, Calif., 90802.

—City News Service

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