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Police dog to receive Purple Heart

Spokane’s injured police dog Var, shot by a suspect in a confrontation earlier this year, will receive a police Purple Heart award during a ceremony before the Spokane City Council on April 27 at 6 p.m., the Spokane Police Department said this morning.

Var was struck by gunfire on March 17 during pursuit of a man who ran from police following an attempted traffic stop along North Division Street.

The suspect fired at Var after being confronted by Officer Dan Lesser and Var in an alley off Division.

Var, who had been brought out of retirement at the time, has recovered from the bullet wounds but will not be returned to duty.

Lesser returned fire, killing the suspect, Johnnie L. Longest III, 22.