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K-9 unit followed training

A sheriff's dog that bit a teenage victim during a residential shooting incident Oct. 24 in Hudson was apparently just following his training.

The dog, a German shepherd named Ace, arrived with his handler at 1321 St. Croix St., when Hudson police called for assistance.

"The K-9 unit, which is usually on patrol in the afternoons, showed up and helped establish a perimeter around the house," said Sheriff Dennis Hillstead.

Police were called to the residence at 5:43 p.m. answering a 911 call that the homeowner, Daniel Christenson, 43, was shooting inside and four other persons were in the house. At 6:12 p.m., Christenson's son, Zach, 19, and three friends escaped the residence through a basement window.

"The K-9 deputy heard shots and glass breaking and saw four people running from the house," Hillstead said. "The deputy ordered them to stop and get down. Three of them did and one kept on running, so the dog was ordered to apprehend him."

The sheriff said it was dark at the time and officers didn't know the situation, one of the individuals leaving the house could have been the shooter.

"A 15-year-old boy was brought down by the dog and suffered a cut on his arm that required stitches," the sheriff said. "It's my understanding that he later suffered from a blood clot and had additional surgery at Regions Hospital in St. Paul."

The teenager was later identified as Nate Livermore. He told officers he heard the command to get down but wanted to get as far away as soon as possible. "I can understand that," said Hillstead.

At 12.43 p.m. a standoff between police and Christensen ended when Christensen came out through the front door, pointed a handgun at officers and was shot, the police report said.

"It is an unfortunate incident," said Hillstead referring both to the wounded homeowner and the teenager who suffered a dog bite.

The sheriff said that the idea of setting up a perimeter in a situation like this is so nobody that isn't known to the officers is allowed to go in or out. "It would have been a worse situation if the gunman had been allowed to escape," he said.

"The dog doesn't know who the good guys and bad guys are. He does what he is trained to do," Hillstead said.