Ohio police are mourning the loss of one of their K9 officers after a shootout during an attempted robbery.
Saturday morning, police in Canton, Ohio, responded to a call of an alarm at a grocery story. When they arrived, the suspect opened fire, striking their K9 officer Jethro three or four times.
The public was kept up-to-date on Jethro’s condition via Facebook. At first, because the bullets had missed vital organs, he was expected to survive. On Saturday at 10 p.m., the police updated that he suffered some brain swelling but that he was making slow progress. Several hours later, he was given a sedative to help him sleep. “He's just trying to beat this thing the way he's used to, by fighting,” the update said. His handler, Ryan Davis, stayed by his side, finally falling asleep early Sunday morning.
On Sunday, the department reported that Jethro took a “a sudden turn for the worse and passed.”
Support poured in from all over the country. The department stated that a funeral will be held (details forthcoming) and provided an address for donations in Jethro’s name to be made to the department’s K-9 unit.
Also, a GoFundMe account set up in Jethro's name raised more than $22,000 by Monday morning. A local blogger named Beth Philley started the account as a way to raise funds for Jethro's vet bills and new bulletproof vests for the department's dogs.
“In visiting with several officers at the emergency clinic, I was told that the bullet-proof vests in Canton are very old, very heavy, and very rarely used,” she wrote.
When Jethro was transported from the vet’s office, he was given a salute.
The suspect who fired shots was located with a gunshot wound and taken for treatment.
““There’s not a doubt in my mind that that dog saved officers’ lives today,” Police Chief Bruce Lawver told the Canton Rep.