ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Anderson County Sheriff’s Office officials said one of their K-9’s shot Tuesday night while helping to track two suspects died Wednesday.

Deputies said there was chase that was called off after the suspect vehicle entered the city of Anderson. A short time later, deputies were notified that the vehicle had been involved in a crash along Clemson Boulevard.

When deputies arrived on scene, two people ran away from the vehicle.

K-9 Roscoe was being used to help tract the suspects when they began shooting at the deputies.

While all human officers are okay, Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride said Roscoe died while protecting his fellow officers.

“We certainly believe that Roscoe did exactly what he was trained to do and he protected our two officers,” Sheriff McBride said.

Roscoe was taken to an Upstate Vet Emergency, an animal trauma center in Greenville on Tuesday night. He died at the animal trauma center from his injuries.

“Our K9 Officer Roscoe succumbed to his injuries and passed,” Sheriff McBride said.

“It’s been a tough night for the department, especially for his handler, and really are whole K-9 division,” he added.

“We form relationships with these dogs and they’re just as much as part of the family as anybody else, so it’s really tough,” Sheriff McBride said. “Roscoe was so good and our handler was so good with him.”

“Well that’s a tragedy. You wouldn’t expect that to happen here in Anderson, but we hope he rest in peace,” said Joey Brown, a resident.

Deputies said Roscoe was only with the department since 2018, and he was one of seven canine officers.

One 10-year-old dog owner said she is sadden about the lost, and couldn’t imagine it happening to her dog.

“And I know if she were to get shot, and die that I would be really sad and upset. So I know how the police officers would feel right now,” said Ava Brown.

Now the community is left to mourn a four legged hero gone too soon.

“It’s not right! It won’t ever be right! It’s not okay at all,” Ava added.

Sheriff McBride said they will honor K-9 Roscoe in the near future.

Hyco K-9 Fund, a non-profit in Anderson, said in a Facebook post Roscoe was a 3 and a half year old German Shepherd.

Just after 6:30 a.m., the organization said Roscoe was in stable condition following the shooting, and said the he was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday morning.

Just before noon on Wednesday, McBride confirmed that Roscoe died.

Roscoe was nationally certified in narcotics detection, criminal apprehension and tracking, according to the organization. He had been with the sheriff’s office since 2018.