ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — St. Paul Police opened fire on a man and killed him Tuesday after he allegedly stabbed one of their police dogs to death.
According to police, the Northstar Fugitive Task Force was looking for a man to question at a St. Paul residence along the 700 block of Aurora Avenue. The task force had an arrest warrant for a 32-year-old Missouri man wanted for criminal sexual conduct.
Police say the officers sent a K9, named Kody (pictured below), downstairs to investigate.
The suspect stabbed Kody multiple times, and officers responded with gunfire, hitting and killing the man.
Lana Taylor told WCCO-TV that the man was Alden Anderson, her brother.
“They sent a dog down there and I heard my brother yell out…and then we heard six gunshots,” Taylor said. “And then they sent an ambulance, and they wouldn’t tell us if he was dead or alive.”
On the way to the animal hospital, Kody died as a result of his injuries. His death is weighing heavy on the hearts of St. Paul Police.
“Being that I was a previous K9 handler, it’s sentimental, it’s something, it’s like a family member,” said Sgt. Paul Paulos, of the St. Paul Police. “It hits the department hard. It’s like one of our own.”
Kody was Officer Dave Longbehn’s partner. He and Kody were once featured on Animal Planet, highlighting the special bond between officers and K9s.
Longbehn, a 28-year veteran officer, is also the one who shot the man who killed Sgt. Joe Bergeron in 2010.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman released a statement, thanking Kody for his sacrifice.
“K-9 dogs take on whatever task is asked of them, oftentimes amidst the worst of circumstances,” the statement said. “I thank him for his sacrifice for the city, I am thankful for the safety of Officer Longbehn and other officers involved in this incident, and I will remember Kody fondly as a good partner and companion for Officer Longbehn and the City of Saint Paul.”
Kody is the fifth St. Paul K9 to be killed in the line of duty.