A K9 officer in Tacoma, Washington, was shot and killed while tracking a homicide suspect. On Thursday afternoon, the Tacoma Police Department made the announcement via social media, writing:
It is with great sadness we pass along the news that one of our beloved K9s was killed in the line of duty overnight. K9 Ronja was tragically shot during the pursuit and capture of an armed suspect who was being sought for a homicide that occurred a few hours earlier.
She sacrificed herself to save the life of her partner and her fellow officers.
Ronja was a two-year-old German shepherd who completed more than 400 hours of intensive training with her partner, Officer Syler. In a news release, the department stated:
K9 Ronja came to the United States in January 2020 to begin her career with K9 handler Officer Jennifer Syler, who had been selected as our newest K9 handler at the time. From their first day together, the bond between K9 Ronja and K9 Officer Syler was undeniable – it is rare to have a female tracking K9, and to have the dog be partnered with a female handler is something truly special.
Adding words of sorrow over her tragic passing:
K9 Ronja’s death is heartbreaking for her handler and our department. K9s hold a very special place in
our hearts – their loyalty, bravery, and dedication is inspiring. K9 Ronja sacrificed herself to save the life of her partner and her fellow officers.
Ronja was her given name in the Czech Republic and it means “bringing victory”. To us, Ronja will
forever mean bringing valor. And for that we are eternally grateful.
K9 Ronja, End of Watch: August 13, 2020. Gone But Not Forgotten
Rest in peace Ronja.
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