Four-legged hero: The Oklahoma K-9 police dog killed while on duty received a full funeral, bringing tears to many attendees.
It was a packed house at an Oklahoma City funeral on Thursday as a beloved canine officer slain in the line of duty was given a full police ceremony.
Officer handlers and their canine partners from around the state packed in to honor Kye, who stabbed by a suspect Sunday night before dying of a heart attack during emergency surgery on Sunday.
‘We greatly appreciate the sentiments, well-wishing, and prayers everyone is expressing – our website took over 2 million hits,’ Captain Dexter Nelson of the Oklahoma City Police Department told koco
Revered dog: Oklahoma City police officer Ryan Stark leans over the casket of his canine partner, K-9 Kye, following full police funeral services for the dog on Thursday
Stark accepts the flag from the casket of his canine partner Kye. Stark shot suspect Mark Salazar, 22, to death after he stabbed the canine–which led to the dog’s death
Kye, a 3-year-old German Shepherd, died in surgery Monday after he was stabbed by a suspect
The 3-year-old German Shepherd’s sad end began when his handler released him to help apprehend suspect Mark Salazar, 22.
The Texas man, who was in Oklahoma City for unknown reasons, was seen stealing a car by police before he led them, including Kye’s handler Sergeant Ryan Stark, on a high speed chase.
After the car was brought to a halt, Salazar ran. Stark released Kye and the dog was stabbed several times when he overtook Salazar.
Stark then shot Salazar to death.
The police dog was taken to a veterinarian for emergency surgery, Nelson said.
Stark is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
The suspect is thought to have skipped out on an unpaid bar tab and then stolen a car, police said.
While many believe otherwise, a police dog is not legally the same as a human partner.
Sad: It was a packed house for Kye’s Oklahoma City funeral. Sergeant Stark is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation because it is not legal to shoot to protect a canine
Brotherhood: Canine officers and their handlers from around the state stopped at the casket that held Kye following funeral services for the dog
Crying for the K9: Ryan Stark, center, wipes a tear from his eye following funeral services for his canine partner, who died during surgery Monday after being stabbed by a car thief suspect, who Stark shot and killed