Officer down: Michigan State Police K9 killed in crash caused by suspected drunk driver

FLINT, MI – A suspected drunk driver crashed into a parked Michigan State Police vehicle earlier in July, killing the MSP K9 inside of the vehicle while also injuring a state trooper.

The driver and two other occupants in the vehicle were also severely injured in the crash, with authorities saying that one of the driver’s occupants is not expected to make it.

At approximately 1:05 a.m. on July 25th, an MSP K9 unit was parked along the M-10 highway, directing traffic to the offramp due to the flooding that was on the highway.

According to the MSP, a vehicle that was “traveling at freeway speed” collided with the MSP unit on the highway.

The unidentified trooper “sustained non-life threatening injuries to his legs”, according to officials, but K9 Rex suffered injuries to the spine and legs from the impact. K9 Rex was transported to Blue Pearl animal hospital where he subsequently succumbed to his sustained injuries.

A series of tweets from the MSP Metro Detroit’s official Twitter account noted that the driver of the vehicle that caused the crash was believed to have been intoxicated during the incident:

“The driver of the suspect vehicle is believed to be under the influence of alcohol. He has serious injuries. The female front seat passenger has critical injuries. The female rear seat passenger also has serious injuries.”

“Troopers and the MSP Crash Reconstruction team investigating the crash and have obtained a blood draw which will be tested for alcohol.”

The driver and two female passengers inside of the vehicle were all transported to an area hospital following the crash.

In an update provided by the MSP, the trooper has been released from the hospital while the driver and their occupants are still hospitalized:

“Update: The trooper has been released from the hospital. He does not appear to have any major injury. The suspect is currently in surgery for his leg and hip. One passenger is still in the ER and listed as stable. The second passenger is in the ICU and is not expected to survive.”

Officials have forwarded the blood draw from the driver over to the lab and are awaiting the results from the test and will hand the results over to the prosecutor to determine next steps regarding the driver.

No identifying details regarding the trooper or the driver and passengers have been shared by officials as of this writing.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case.

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Earlier in July, we at Law Enforcement Today shared the saddening news of another K9 that died in the line of duty in Missouri. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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ST. JOSEPH, MO- K9 Officer Max, of the St. Joseph Police Department (SJPD), was fatally shot in the line of duty on June 30th, when he was brought in to help officers responding to a call of domestic violence in south St. Joseph. 

Authorities stated that officers with the Special Response Team (SRT) were called out to 5108 Barbara Street around 10:30 p.m. on the night of June 30th to execute a search warrant on domestic abuse.

When responding officers attempted to breach the back door, the suspect, who was armed, ran out another door of the house and fatally shot Max during the escape. 

Max was a 2-year member of the force and served on the SRT assisting in calls to help apprehend dangerous felons. He was partnered with Officer Lucas Winder. In press release, the department said:

“Max performed his duties heroically and protected the lives of others on scene.”

According to reports, the suspect, 24-year-old Valdez McDonald, had barricaded himself inside. Police said McDonald was wanted on a third-degree assault charge for allegedly beating his mother, slamming a two-by-four into the back of her head and smashing her against the wall.

K9 Max was rushed to an emergency veterinarian in Kansas City, but died of his injuries. McDonald has since be arrested and charged with armed criminal action in addition to the domestic charges he was already facing.

Buchanan County Prosecutor Ron Holiday stated that the maximum sentence for the combined charges could be 19 years in prison. 

In a Facebook post on July 1st, SJPD wrote:

“It is with great sorrow we must say goodbye to Max, our loyal and courageous teammate and friend who gave his life in the line of duty. We extend our deepest sympathies to his handler and partner, Officer Lucas Winder. Max made the ultimate sacrifice and we are eternally grateful.”

The St. Joseph Post reported that Officer Winder said that working alongside K9 Max was “like taking your best friend and kid to work every day.” He added:

“It’s funny because my wife or someone else would try and talk to him, he would just laser-beam focus on me. You could just tell our bond was just there. Unbreakable. It was beautiful. The kid was always there for me.”

Officer Winder said that every day he worked with K9 Max was a blessing and that he is grateful for the time they had together. SJPD Police Chief Chris Connally said whether it be two legs or four, Max was one of their own and losing him was a very painful experience. He added:

“When we lost Max, we lost an officer and it hurts…he was one of our own.”

Connally said Max lived out his sworn duty as a St. Joseph police officer right until the very end. He added:

“We as police officers are sworn to protect and serve and Max did exactly that. As trained and true to his mission, he did his job and while doing it likely saved our officers and maybe even the perpetrator.”

Winder said the time that has followed Max’s death has been a “day-to-day battle,” but he thanks the community for the outpouring of support he has received. K9 Max’s memorial service was held on July 9th. He added:

“I couldn’t even tell you the amount of calls and texts I’ve received. Not just from this jurisdiction, but nationwide. It’s been beautiful to see everyone come together.”

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Back in April, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report of a Bakersfield Police K9 that was fatally shot in California. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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BAKERSFIELD, CA – According to a press release, a Bakersfield Police Department K9 passed away on the evening of April 27th after reportedly being shot by a suspect involved an allegedly stolen vehicle incident that turned into a pursuit.

Officer Down: Bakersfield PD K9 murdered after being shot by suspect in a stolen vehicle
K9 Jango – BPD

Officials say that on the evening of April 27th at approximately 8:43 p.m., Bakersfield Police officers attempted to conduct a stop along Highway 58 regarding a vehicle that had been previously reported stolen.

The driver of the vehicle reportedly refused to stop for officers, and allegedly drove off of the highway and crashed into a chain link fence, which rendered the vehicle inoperable thereafter. The suspect was said to have then fled they disabled vehicle on foot.

Officer Down: Bakersfield PD K9 murdered after being shot by suspect in a stolen vehicle
K9 Jango – BPD

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office reportedly offered aerial support to help locate the suspect, which the subject was reportedly found in the backyard of a home located within the 2000 block of Feliz Drive.

A BPD K9 handler along with his partner, identified as K9 Jango, were said to have approached the suspect located in the backyard of the residence and the suspect reportedly opened fire.

Unfortunately, K9 Jango was struck by the gunfire, and the K9 reportedly succumbed to his injuries after being transported to an emergency veterinarian hospital.

Officer Down: Bakersfield PD K9 murdered after being shot by suspect in a stolen vehicle
K9 Jango – BPD

Following the gunfire from the suspect, two officers on site were said to have returned fire on the man. Medical aid was also provided to the suspect, but the individual reportedly died at the scene.

BPD officials related that the incident is still under investigation and more details will be released later on down the road.

It was noted that a firearm was recovered from the suspect and that both officers who discharged their firearms were wearing body-worn cameras at the time.

The name of the deceased suspect involved in the incident has not been released as of this writing.

Officer Down: Bakersfield PD K9 murdered after being shot by suspect in a stolen vehicle
K9 Jango – BPD

According to K9 Jango’s online profile from the BPD’s website, the following is noted about his work with the department: 

“Officer Mueller and Jango became partners in March of 2017. Jango is from the Netherlands and his commands are given in Czech. Jango is training to locate and apprehend criminals and also trained in explosive detection. When off duty, Jango loves to chase tennis balls and beg for treats.”

Officer Down: Bakersfield PD K9 murdered after being shot by suspect in a stolen vehicle
K9 Jango – BPD—

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The post Officer down: Michigan State Police K9 killed in crash caused by suspected drunk driver appeared first on Law Enforcement Today.

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Author: Gregory Hoyt


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