Neighbors help Indiana State Police find missing K-9

A veterinarian determined Indiana State Police dog Apache, shown in this undated photo, suffered a gunshot wound to the neck on Oct. 10, 2017. He was expected to fully recover. (Photo Provided/Sgt. John Perrine, Indiana State Police)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indiana State Police K-9 is still recovering after being shot in the neck during a shooting between a trooper and a suspect.

It happened Tuesday night near 38th and Post Road.

State police said after the shooting, the K-9 took off, which prompted an all night search in the area.

State police issued an alert for people in the area to be on the lookout for the K-9. They spent 12 hours looking for Apache when neighbors spotted the K-9 jumping over fences about three minutes away from the scene of the shooting.

Troopers received information about the sighting and made their way to the neighborhood on Aspen Way.

Melissa Altom told 24-Hour News 8 a trooper asked her to check her yard.

“I decided to go over there and check, and low and behold, there he was,” Altom said.

Two-and-a-half year old Apache was resting by a shed, but he didn’t stay put for long.

“When I spooked him, he jumped down the fence, down the breeze way and back and that’s when he came around and he stopped over at the neighbor’s,” Altom said.

Around the same time, Curtis Babb said he had just let his dogs out in the yard.

“When I was getting ready to call my dogs back in,” said Babb. “My oldest dog Zeus wouldn’t come in.”

Zeus spotted a new friend in the grass.

“I (saw) the grass rustling at an empty house behind us that had burned down this summer and I went grabbed my shoes real quick, and went back to see what it was, and the K-9 officer dog was back there,” Babb said.

Babb added that he recognized the yellow collar and tried to get the K-9’s attention, but the K-9 was on the move.

“I was standing on the corner and it started coming towards me and he (saw) the rest of the troopers and he hopped three or more fences after that,” said Altom.

Altom took pictures and videos on her cell phone as troopers jumped over the fence to go after the K-9.

“He had run through the ditch and down and as soon as trooper Butt called him down there, he went right to him,” Altom said.

Trooper Butt and his partner Apache were eventually reunited.

“(Trooper Butt) was in tears and he said, ‘all I want to do is find him because he saved my life last night and now I want to save his,'” Altom said.

Apache was shot in the neck, but is expected to make a full recovery.

At this time, state police are still trying to figure it if that injury came from the trooper’s gun or the suspect’s gun.