Last weekend, after a 22-hour standoff with a suspect, a 9-year-old Omaha police dog was shot and killed less than two months before he was set to retire. On Tuesday night, January 25, he became he first dog to be presented with the U.S. honor flag. The flag is flown in honor of fallen heroes, including police, firefighters, and military members, and has traveled all over the country, including Ground Zero in New York City.
K9 Kobus, a Belgian Malinois, responded with Omaha police to the home of Mark L’Heureux, for whom the police had a warrant ordering a psychiatric evaluation. The suspect barricaded himself in the home from 5:30 p.m. and refused to exit. When police sent Kobus into the home at 4 p.m. the next day, the dog was shot and killed. About two and a half hours later, L’Heureux, who also fired shots at a deputy, surrendered. Sgt. Steve Worley said in a press conference “almost every tool in our toolbox was used” before the dog was sent in. He also reported that Kobus was the “toughest dog in the unit.”
“The loss of our K9 brings great sadness to the Department and to his partner and handler, Officer Matthew McKinney,” said Police Chief Todd Schmaderer in a statement. “Kobus died in the line of duty in order to protect the lives of sworn law enforcement.”
Kobus is the fourth police dog killed by gunfire so far this month in the United States. Others include K9 Jethro of Canton, Ohio; K9 Krijger of Norfolk, Virginia; and K9 Ogar of Smith County, Texas. His funeral will be held Thursday, January 28, at 2 p.m. EST.
See a video of the honor flag ceremony: