Local News

Friday, Mar 28 2014 11:43 AM

Wind Thursday forced hard landing of Sheriff's helicopter at Tehachapi Airport

A Kern County sheriff's helicopter transporting a K-9 shot during a deputy-involved shooting was forced to make a hard landing east of Tehachapi early Thursday, causing minor injuries to a sergeant and damage to the helicopter.

The dog was being taken to a veterinary hospital in Lancaster when the pilot was forced to land, sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said Friday. The dog was shot in Oildale at 10:15 p.m. Wednesday during which a man was shot and killed by deputies.

After the helicopter landed early Thursday morning, a vehicle transported the dog to Lancaster, Pruitt said. The helicopter was able to take off and fly to Tehachapi Airport. Pruitt said he did not know if the helicopter was still at the airport or had flown back to the Bakersfield area.

Pruitt said he believes weather conditions, possibly strong gusts of wind, forced the helicopter to land. He did not know the extent of the damage.

As for the K-9, a decision was made to not perform surgery in Lancaster. The dog was taken back to Bakersfield, then transported to a veterinary hospital in southern California for surgery today.

Pruitt said he did not know where exactly the dog was struck.

The shooting occurred shortly after a man on a motorcycle refused to stop for deputies, authorities say. Deputies said the man sped off and crashed in the 300 block of Beardsley Avenue.

Deputies reported the man was armed with a handgun at the time two deputies fired their weapons. The man was struck at least once and later pronounced dead at Kern Medical Center.

The man's gun has been recovered, deputies said.

The shooting closed Beardsley between Plymouth Avenue and Oildale Drive for several hours through Thursday morning during the investigation. It remains unclear who shot the dog.

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