Report on I-5 Shooting Indicates K9 Arlo Was Hit by Friendly Fire From Law Enforcement


Evidence described in an incident report from a Jan. 13 shooting on Interstate 5 suggests only law enforcement fired their weapons and injured K9 Arlo.

The report sheds new light on the details surrounding the incident that led to the shooting and arrest of 25-year-old Victor Hugo Ortiz Bucio. The Olympian obtained the report from the Mason County Sheriff's Office which led the investigation into the shooting.

Five Thurston County deputies and one Washington State Patrol trooper reportedly fired on Ortiz Bucio on Jan. 13 after he allegedly led them on a high-speed chase and pointed a gun at them, The Olympian previously reported.

A probable cause statement alleges a suicidal Ortiz Bucio hoped law enforcement would kill him after the Lacey Police Department initiated an investigation into his past sexual relationship with a then 14-year-old girl.

In the gunfire, Arlo was shot two times. A GoFundMe organized by the Thurston County Deputy Sheriff's Foundation raised $73,705 for the dog which had to undergo surgery following the shooting. However, the description for the fundraiser did not disclose Arlo's injuries were the result of friendly fire or indicate what the money would be used for.

Ortiz Bucio has since been charged with four counts of assault in the second degree, one count of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, three counts of third-degree rape of a child and one count of second-degree child molestation.

A description of video evidence with a view of Ortiz Bucio notes he stepped out of his vehicle and pointed his weapon at law enforcement. However, only shots from law enforcement are noted in the incident description.

During about seven seconds of gunfire, Ortiz Bucio collapsed to the ground before Arlo reached him.

"At 0:09:38:75 of the recording, Victor continues to buckle towards the ground and K9 Arlo is seen entering the video from the left," the report reads. "It appears that Victor's hand is still up in the direction of (a trooper), not K9 Arlo."

Investigators did not find a shell casing from Oritz Bucio's handgun at the scene and the gun itself did not contain any bullets, according to the report.

Ortiz Bucio suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital following the incident. There he reportedly attempted to communicate with a nurse through writing, the report reads.

"(The nurse) told Victor (Hugo Ortiz Bucio) that it was her understanding that he had been shot by law enforcement after he shot a dog," the report read. "She said that Victor shook his head and signaled that he wanted to write something else. ... Victor wrote, 'No bullets in the gun I.'"

He later told investigators at the hospital that his gun was not functional, and he was unaware the dog had been shot, according to the report.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Arlo has received overwhelming public support, said Sheriff John Snaza.

"Every day there are packages for Arlo sitting at our office and donations for Arlo ... from people not only from this state but other states," Snaza said. "It's awesome actually to see the outpouring for the K9 program and the care they have for that K9."

Arlo has a substantial social media following on TikTok where he has 2.5 million followers and Instagram where he has 7,356 followers. The report notes his handler has been posting videos documenting Arlo's recovery to each account, including a now deleted post where his handler claimed Arlo was shot by a suspect.

Arlo, one of three dogs who serves the Thurston County Sheriff's Office, is still recovering from his injuries and it is unclear if he will be able to return to duty, said Snaza.

The Thurston County Deputy Sheriff Foundation raised $73,705 for Arlo's care through GoFundMe. This non-profit is not maintained by the Thurston County Sheriff's Office, Lt. Cameron Simper said in an emailed statement.

The K9 program is almost entirely paid for through direct donations and the Sheriff's Office pays for medical insurance for each dog they own, he wrote. The funds from the foundation have not been spent yet, he added.

"The funds will be used to offset any non-covered expenses," Simper wrote. "The foundation will make a decision regarding any unspent funds."


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment