The man believed to be responsible for the death of a police K9 has been found dead. According to multiple sources, 38-year-old Joe Ruelas has been identified as the man who fatally shot K9 Koki with Arizona’s El Mirage Police Department.
On November 22, the police department broke the news of the Belgian malinois’ death to Facebook followers, writing:
Tonight we had a very serious situation in our city in which our K9 Koki was killed protecting his fellow officers. I want you to know the community is safe and the suspect is no longer a threat.
In a release, El Mirage Police Chief Paul Marzocca commented on the loss of the department’s K9 officer:
The loss of Koki is no different than the loss of a police officer. Today, the El Mirage Police Department mourns Koki, we lost a brother last night.”
Koki was deployed on Friday night as officers tried to apprehend Ruelas on suspicion of aggravated assault. Ruelas fired at, and killed Koki. Officers fired at the suspect, who was later found dead inside of a home from a gunshot wound which may have been self-inflicted, reports Fox 10 Phoenix.
A ceremony in Koki’s honor was held on Saturday night.
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