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By Casey Christie / The Californian
By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Sheriff's officials have been unusually tight-lipped about last week's deputy-involved shooting, leaving usually routine questions -- including whether a man who was fatally shot fired his weapon, and the names of the deputies involved -- still unanswered Tuesday.
The only new detail released about the March 26 incident is that a wounded sheriff's K-9 is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery Friday.
Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said Tuesday the dog should recover within four to six months.
It remained unclear whether the man deputies were chasing shot the K-9 or if deputies inadvertently hit the dog during the shooting in the 300 block of Beardsley Avenue in Oildale.
When pressed for more detail Tuesday, Pruitt said he had not been authorized to release more information.
It is unusual for the name of a dead suspect -- and the identities of the deputies involved -- in officer-involved shootings to go unreported this long.
The incident began shortly before 10:15 p.m. when a man on a motorcycle refused to stop for deputies, the sheriff's department has said. It said he sped off before crashing on Beardsley.
Deputies have said the man, whose age also has not been released, was armed with a handgun. Two deputies fired at him, striking him at least once.
The man was later pronounced dead at Kern Medical Center.
The K-9 was loaded onto a sheriff's helicopter that began flying to a veterinary hospital in Lancaster. Pruitt has said the helicopter encountered a fast-moving storm front early Thursday in the Tehachapi area and was forced to make a hard landing.
The helicopter sustained minor damage, and the incident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. The chopper managed to fly to Tehachapi Airport, and the dog -- whom sheriff's officials also refuse to identify by name and breed -- was transported by ground to Lancaster.
A decision was made not to operate that day, and the dog was later taken to southern California for surgery.