PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The Palm Beach County sheriff's K-9 deputy who was shot two times during a Suburban West Palm Beach shootout on Monday was released from the animal hospital less than 24 hours after being shot.
K-9 Kenzo left the Pet Emergency and Referral Center in Palm Beach Gardens late Tuesday afternoon, walking on his own in front of a crowd of deputies who are heralding him a hero.
"If it wasn't for K-9 Kenzo's alert of location, it could have been a lot worse. We could have had two deputies dead," said Sgt. Michael Anderson, PBSO K-9 handler speaking on behalf of Kenzo's handler.
Investigators said during the shootout on Monday night, Kenzo saw the suspect when deputies did not.
"Your heart starts racing because of the loyalty and the dedication the dogs give you." Anderson.
When the gunman appeared, Kenzo lunged at him and was shot two times. Investigators said Kenzo shielded deputies from most of the gunfire
"If the bullet didn't take the right path, he could have died," said Denise Davidson, an emergency veterinarian who operated on Kenzo.
Veterinarians said one bullet went through Kenzo and another became lodged near his spine.
"He was a trooper, I mean like I say, he came in limping a little bit but other than that, no big problems for him," said Davidson.
Deputies said much like Kenzo's calm demeanor on the operating table, they said Kenzo is always focused.
"Every scenario and every training that we do, the dog thinks that he can't lose," said Anderson. "Kenzo didn't stop and he won't stop."
As soon as Kenzo recovers, deputies expect him to return to work. PBSO said Kenzo is entitled to every award any other deputy could receive for his actions.