ANDERSON, Calif. — Chance, an Anderson Police K-9 Officer, returned to work Saturday night for the first time in a week after being shot through the ear in the line of duty.
"Last Saturday was typical just like any other day. But then we were advised that the Redding Police Department was in pursuit of a stolen vehicle," said Anderson Police Officer K-9 Handler Tyler Finch.
On the morning of December 29, Officer Finch with the Anderson Police Department says he and his K-9 partner "Chance" responded to a call of a car chase from Redding to Anderson.
When they arrived the suspect rammed a police car and started a foot pursuit on a trail leading under Highway 273.
"The driver fled from the vehicle at which point I deployed K-9 Chance," Finch said.
However, before police could arrest the suspect, the man later identified as 25-year-old Dillon Sullivan, pulled out a loaded gun and pulled the trigger.
"K-9 Chance was shot once through his left ear. And somehow through his bravery he was able to chase down Mr. Sullivan and ultimately apprehend him," Finch said.
All of it happening while Officer Finch was just 40 feet away.
"Probably one of the most emotional times of my career. Seeing my partner. The guy that has my back no matter what. And now he just took a bullet for me," Finch said.
Chance got several stitches for his injuries and has been resting at home all week. but now he's ready to get back to work.
However, coming back to work has a different meaning this time.
After 4 years of service together, officer Finch and Chance now share a different kind of bond.
"I was shot back in 2017 involving a stolen vehicle. Chance was present but not deployed in that incident. So he was deployed in this incident and he now has his bullet wound and I have mine," Finch said.
As for the shooter, Sullivan appeared in court in early January, where his bail was increased to $1.5 million pending the outcome of the 17 charges he currently faces.
In addition, since Chance was shot, the Anderson Police Department said they've been overwhelmed with an outpouring of support from the community for his heroic act.