Fallen K9 Gets An Officer's Salute Fit For A Hero: 'He Served Valiantly and Courageously'
K9 Credo, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, was killed Tuesday morning after being caught in the line of fire during a SWAT standoff.
A fallen K9 received an officer's salute fit for a hero after being killed in the line of duty.
On Tuesday afternoon, officers paid their respects to their fallen partner. They formed a line up in the parking lot outside the California hospital where K9 Credo succumbed to his injuries, and saluted as the fallen K9's remains were transported out in a gurney draped in an American flag.
Credo's handler, 23-year Long Beach Police Department veteran Mike Parcells, appeared grief-striken and overcome at the ceremony.
The 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, who worked with patrol and narcotics and was pivotal in more than 30 apprehensions, was shot by friendly fire alongside the suspect.
"These service dogs, these K9s, they're not just dogs. These are police officers," Deputy Chief Richard Conant from the Long Beach Police Department said at a press conference. "This dog was injured in a performance of his duty and that's going to weigh heavily in the Long Beach police family."
Credo, who has served with the department for two years, will also be given an honorable burial.
According to a press release, the Long Beach Police Department were called in to join a SWAT team in arresting a male suspect wanted in connection with a 2014 shooting involving multiple victims.
Credo was commanded to stop the suspect from advancing toward officers. The suspect was considered armed and dangerous, and produced a knife as Credo fought him off.
After the suspect refused to back down to intermediate measures including a rubber bullet, an officer then fired his weapon, and both the suspect and Credo were caught in the gunfire.
Aerial footage of the scene captured Officer Parcells slinging the dog over his shoulder, distraught. He carries his partner away from the scene and lays him on the sidewalk, and can be seen throwing off his helmet in frustration.
"[He] served valiently and courageously in the service he rendered to the Long Beach Police department," Long Beach Police Department's Liutenant Ryan LeBaron told InsideEdition.com, "and ultimately gave his life to the service."
The unidentified suspect was also transported to local hospital where he was prononced dead.
A young woman, who NBC4 identified as the suspect's sister, said, "I wouldn't wish death on my brother. I wouldn't wish death on the dog. I wish everything could have been normal."
Credo became Parcells' second K9 partner who was killed in duty. In 2005, K9 Ranger was struck by gunfire during a tactical incident where he was working to apprehend another dangerous suspect, LeBaron told InsideEdition.com.
According to CBS LA, Ranger was killed after officers attempted to expel an armed parolee from underneath a porch.
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