Man shot by Fresno police, accused of stabbing K9 identified

The suspect is the same man who was involved in an 8-hour long standoff with police on New Year's Day, his mother told us.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2022
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A wanted suspect was shot by two Fresno police officers on Sunday after authorities say he stabbed a K9 multiple times.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno County Sheriff's K-9 named Cyra is home resting and recovering after suffering stab wounds.

The 3-year-old Belgian Malinois had been working in the field for about a year until authorities say 27-year-old Gabriel Mata stabbed her on Sunday.

Mata is the same suspect involved in an 8-hour long standoff with police on Saturday in the Tower District.

The next day, Mata's mother called police for help getting him to surrender.

"Around 5 pm on Sunday, Fresno police went to a home near American and Maple to try and contact Gabriel Matta," says Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office. "They knew him as a suspect in the incident in the day prior on Saturday."

Action News spoke with his mother who says she was just trying to help both the police and her son.

During officers' attempts to contact him, Mata ran away.

Fresno police requested help from deputies and a K9 to assist in the search. Authorities say as Cyra chased after the suspect, he stabbed her multiple times.

Two Fresno police officers then opened fire, shooting Mata.

Due to the location being in the county, detectives with the Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's Office responded to the scene to conduct the investigation.

Officials say Mata was a previously convicted felon who's faced charges including illegally possessing a gun, burglary, and fleeing a peace officer. Now, he'll face a new set of charges.