A Glendale police K-9 is recovering after being involved in a deadly gun battle with an escaped inmate July 31.
The K-9, Mick, was struck by gunfire during an exchange between Glendale Officer Wes Zygmont and the inmate, Skylar Martin, who was pronounced dead at the scene of his gunshot wounds.
Zygmont was assisting the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Offender Task Force when he confronted Martin at a home near Baseline Road and 27th Street in Phoenix. Martin escaped through the back door, firing several shots at Zygmont, who was not hit. Zygmont returned fire, striking Martin several times.
According to a police spokesperson, the K-9 was struck during the gun fight and taken to a Phoenix area animal hospital, where he was treated and underwent surgery for two separate gunshot wounds. Mick is recovering and in stable condition.
Martin was sentenced in April 2017 to seven and a half years on an aggravated DUI conviction. He was assigned to an outside work crew at the Maricopa County Animal shelter in Phoenix, when he walked away in the early morning hours of Feb. 8. Martin’s prior criminal history consisted of numerous arrests and convictions for theft, third-degree burglary, marijuana violation, narcotic drug violation, drug paraphernalia violation, assault, second-degree escape, vehicle theft, and promoting prison contraband.
Glendale officers were assisting the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Offender Task Force, which they do numerous times a year, to assist in the apprehension of Martin when the incident occurred.
The Arizona Department of Corrections issued a brief statement commending the officers who sought Martin.
“The Arizona Department of Corrections appreciates the continuous and courageous efforts by the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Offender Task Force, including the Glendale Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies that helped investigate and pursue this fugitive inmate,” agency director Charles L. Ryan said. “We are grateful for the safety of the officer involved and wish for the swift and full recovery of the brave K9 partner wounded by the fugitive.”