Phoenix, AZ – The fugitive who killed a Phoenix police K9 while barricaded inside a stranger’s home was sentenced to over 25 years in prison on Thursday.
Jairo Adair Contreras Quintero, 27, asphyxiated Phoenix Police Department (PPD) K9 Bane on April 17, 2018, after he carjacked two vehicles at gunpoint and led police on a lengthy pursuit, The Arizona Republic reported.
The events leading up to K9 Bane’s death began at approximately 11 a.m., when police attempted to stop Quintero, who was behind the wheel of a stolen car, The Arizona Republic reported.
“That vehicle was occupied by a known suspect who has prior arrests and actually an active warrant for stolen vehicles,” Phoenix Police Sergeant Jonathan Howard said in a press conference at the time.
Quintero had fled from police on previous occasions, and refused to pull over in this instance as well, Sgt. Howard explained.
The officers fell back while air support kept an eye on the suspect’s path of travel.
Quintero and his female passenger, 24-year-old Laura Dagnino, eventually exited the vehicle and proceeded to steal a different car.
The duo traveled to the Biltmore Fashion Park, where they carjacked a female driver at gunpoint, Sgt. Howard said.
“It was at that location that shots were fired,” he explained.
Quintero pointed a gun at the officers, prompting them to return fire, police said.
The uninjured suspect then fled the area, swerving between lanes and dodging traffic, as he led officers on a pursuit.
He crashed the stolen vehicle into a van at one point, but then immediately drove away, KPNX reported.
He also drove along the light rail tracks and across sidewalks during the chase.
An officer was able to deploy spike strips at 12:30 p.m., successfully deflating the suspect’s tires. The suspect then crashed into a residential yard, Sgt. Howard recounted.
Quintero scrambled out of the vehicle, jumped over a fence, and proceeded to break into a nearby home, where he barricaded himself inside an attic, KPNX reported.
Dagnino, who was wanted on a drug-related warrant, was apprehended and arrested, according to The Arizona Republic.
Quintero ignored officers’ commands to exit the home, so they ultimately decided to send K9 Bane inside to apprehend him.
A short while later, the officers could hear K9 Bane breathing in a “shallow” and “unusual” manner, at which point his handler called for him to come back outside, The Arizona Republic reported.
When K9 Bane failed to return, officers forced entry and found that Quintero had fallen through the ceiling and was hiding beneath a pile of insulation.
He had been bitten by K9 Bane multiple times.
Police located K9 Bane stuffed into a cabinet the suspect was leaning against and attempted lifesaving efforts, but he was already deceased.
Investigators later determined his death was caused by asphyxiation, KNXV reported.
Quintero was arrested on charges of animal cruelty, killing a service animal, burglary, unlawful flight, weapons violations, armed robbery, trespassing, and theft of a motor vehicle.
On Thursday, he was sentenced to 25.75 years in prison.
Dagnino was sentenced to over three years in prison as part of a plea agreement, Newsweek reported.
K9 Bane, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois, had been with the department for almost two years, according to KPNX.
“We sent Bane in to do what the dogs do. They are our protectors, they are our partners and it’s definitely with heart that we lost Bane,” PPD Chief Jeri Williams told the news outlet at the time. “The loss of a K9 is no different than the loss of an officer, and we are devastated…Bane, you’re a hero that was taken too soon, and you’ll be missed. Rest in Peace.”