A Stockton K9 died Tuesday afternoon due to a heat-related medical issue, the Stockton Police Department said.
Nitro's handler noticed the K9 was having problems and rushed him to a nearby veterinary clinic. Police said Nitro later died at the clinic.
"This situation is obviously devastating for our K9 Handler and the entire Police Department is mourning this loss," police said.
According to Officer Joe Silva, a preliminary investigation revealed the main air conditioning failed while Nitro was in the police unit parked along Santa Paula Way. Officers were there responding to a call to arrest a suspect with numerous warrants.
Police said a different K9 was deployed when the suspect, Ramon Garibay, 19, fled from his home. The K9 subdued Garibay until officers were able to get him into custody. Meanwhile, according to police, Nitro remained in the police vehicle alone while his handler assisted officers at the scene.
The air conditioning in the K9 unit vehicle apparently stopped working, police said, resulting in Nitro over heating. Officers transferred him to the Emergency Vet where he died, according to police.
Nitro was in the news in January when a suspect hit him in the snout with a claw hammer. Nitro was taken to the hospital and made a full recovery. The suspect was shot and killed by police officers during the incident.