UPDATED: Suspected rabid coyote shot after attacking three people, two dogs and police officer | Headlines

A coyote suspected of biting three people at Lake Accotink Park in Springfield Saturday attacked a police officer and was shot on Sunday.

Police and Fairfax County Animal Protection officers were searching for the coyote in the 7900 block of Carrleigh Parkway when it snuck up behind and bit the officer on a lower extremity, Fairfax County Police Lt. Dan Spital said.

The officer discharged his firearm to stop the attack and the coyote was found dead nearby.

The search for the coyote began Saturday morning after three people and two dogs were bitten by the animal at Lake Accotink Park around 8 am

The park was closed and police and animal control searched through dusk for the coyote with the help of the Fairfax police helicopter, but didn’t find the animal.

On Sunday morning, the coyote was seen in a neighborhood off Carrleigh Parkway biting tires, which is “indicative of rabid behavior,” Spital said.

As the search coyote search continued, the animal who approached and bit the police officer discharged his weapon several times, Spital said.

The officer was taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, as are the people who were attacked Saturday, Spital said.

The coyote will be tested to confirm if it was rabid, but Spital said police from the suspect “it is a rabid animal.”

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