GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - A K-9 deputy has been discharged from the vet's office and is improving after getting shot during an eight hour standoff with a suspect Wednesday Sept. 29, says Greenville County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said K-9 deputy Nikos was seen leaving the vet's office in a video on the sheriff's office's Facebook page.
The suspect, Anthony Shay Hawthorne, is also facing new charges following an investigation. Investigators said Hawthorne created an improvised flamethrower using aerosolized spray and a lighter. Hawthorne ignited it and directed it towards three deputies, according to deputies. Hawthorne is now facing three more counts of attempted murder due to these actions, deputies said.
Hawthorne was denied bond at a hearing on Saturday afternoon. He remains at the Greenville County Detention Center.
On Wednesday, deputies went to Gunter Road just after 7 p.m. for a call saying a suspect was firing shots at their mother. However, the mother was able to get to safety at her neighbor's house, who then called 911.
Upon arrival, Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis said deputies found the suspect armed inside the home and not wanting to come out. Several tactics were used to get the suspect to come out including gas, robots, and 4-year-old K-9 deputy Nikos.
"We knew there were several guns in the house. We felt like he was probably a threat to himself at that point so we thought we would just wait them out so we deployed several tactics at that time to try to get them to come out," the sheriff said.
During the standoff, deputies said when the K-9 deputy was deployed, it was shot at least once by the suspect. However, the K-9 was able to bite the suspect, allowing for SWAT to enter the home and arrest the suspect.
Sheriff Lewis told us the dog was rushed to the emergency vet to get assessed. The K-9 deputy is expected to be alright but will need to undergo surgery.
“The resiliency of Nikos in these early stages of this incident has been incredible and we are certainly pulling for him as he begins the process for recovery. I cannot say enough about Upstate Vet Emergency + Specialty Care and their professional staff. The treatment, care and urgency that they have displayed for our buddy Nikos, I truly cannot put into words but I am just thankful…thankful to have professionals in our community like them who work hand in hand with our first responders," said the sheriff.
The Greenville County Detention Center confirmed the suspect's identity as Anthony Shay Hawthorne, 44.
Hawthorne has been charged with attempted murder, possession of weapon during a violent crime, and cruelty to a police dog, according to the sheriff's office.