A man being sought near Kentwood on warrants for rape, kidnapping and shooting at police officers apparently shot a police dog Wednesday, authorities said.
The dog, Titan, survived and is under treatment for the wound, said spokeswoman Dawn Panepinto of the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office.
A multi-agency search continued for Kaunda Lopaz Magee, whom authorities have been seeking in a heavily wooded part of northern Tangipahoa Parish since Thursday.
Panepinto said she couldn’t say if Titan bit Magee, but said deputies found a blood trail after the shooting and have more dogs following the trail through dense brush.
“The wooded area is so thick that it is hard to maneuver,” Panepinto said.
Prior to the shooting, Titan had a strong, positive track and “his handler let him go,” the spokeswoman said.
The dog ran about 50 yards into the underbrush before searchers heard a gunshot. Titan returned to them wounded, Panepinto said.
They then brought more dogs to the area, which they had been searching with Titan after another reported sighting of Magee Wednesday morning, she said.
A sighting of Magee in that area was also reported to deputies Tuesday afternoon.
Magee reportedly is wearing jeans and a brown T-shirt, Panepinto said.
Dogs from several agencies are involved in the manhunt, the spokeswoman said.
Authorities have set up two perimeters. The inner perimeter covers three square miles and the outer one covers 11 square miles, Panepinto said.
Authorities have a command post set up at La. 1055 and La. 1054.
The helicopter-aided search has support from a number of agencies. State troopers are among those involved in the manhunt, said Nick Manale of State Police at Troop L.
Washington Parish deputies and a state trooper chased Magee early this month after a report of a home invasion and sexual assault, Manale said
Shots were fired at the officers during that chase, Manale said.
Authorities said the case began more than two weeks ago with a break-in and attack in the Pine area of Washington Parish.
Magee resurfaced in Tangipahoa Parish on Thursday afternoon and fled from Washington Parish sheriff’s deputies who stopped his car.
He ran into a wooded area off La. 38 near Kentwood, authorities said.
Magee, 36, is wanted on warrants for aggravated rape, kidnapping, criminal damage to property and four counts of attempted murder of police officers, according to the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office.