IDENTIFIED: Man who allegedly stabbed police K-9 named by deputies

Crime

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The man arrested by Fresno County Sheriff’s deputies after allegedly stabbing a K-9 officer on Sunday was identified as a 27-year-old from Fresno.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, 27-year-old Gabriel Mata was the suspect wanted on several felony charges – resulting in the stabbing of the K-9 officer and ending with officers with Fresno Police Department shooting Mata.

Image of K-9 officer Cyra provided by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office

Mata remains in the hospital in critical condition. He has been electronically booked into Fresno County Jail on charges of domestic violence.

The Sheriff’s Office says Mata was wanted following a domestic violence incident on Saturday in Fresno’s Tower District. Fresno Police officers add that Mata made threats against his girlfriend and their five-year-old child. He was believed to be armed and the incident resulted in an eight-hour-long standoff. It is unknown why Mata was not arrested that evening.

Officials also confirmed that Mata was sentenced to over two years in prison in federal court for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The crime took place in January 2020 – and the sentence was announced in May 2021.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s K-9 Cyra suffered multiple stab wounds in the incident. Cyra was transported to an emergency veterinarian clinic for treatment and is recovering at home.

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