Kye, a 3-year-old Belgian German shepherd who was serving for the Oklahoma City police was laid to rest on August 28 with full police honors in front of more than a thousand mourners and dozens of other service dogs. Kye’s partner, Sgt. Ryan Stark, shed tears as he bid farewell to his loyal companion.
According to Today, Kai died while protecting his partner when they were chasing a car thief on Sunday, August 24. The Oklahoma City police received a stolen car report, and Sgt. Stark and Kye were at the scene. The suspect was chased by the police by car until he crashed the vehicle and ran away. Kye was quick to chase the suspect, with Sgt. Stark following close behind.
Sgt. Stark eventually caught up with Kye and the suspect and witnessed his K9 partner being stabbed with a knife. He tried to stop the suspect from hurting Kye, but was unsuccessful, and that’s when Sgt. Stark drew his weapon and shot and killed the suspect. He is now on leave while waiting for the results of an internal investigation.
The 3-year-old German shepherd sustained critical injuries and died the following day. The Oklahoma City police announced his passing on Facebook.
“We are deeply saddened to report that the K9that was stabbed last night while attempting to take a violent felon into custody, passed away this afternoon as a result of his injuries.”
Kye was given a ceremony with full police honors. His body was placed in a coffin draped with the U.S. flag, and received a 21-gun salute.
Sgt. Stark met Kye during the dog’s training and they officially hit the streets as partners on Oct. 20, 2012. They have formed a strong bond through the years and Sgt. Stark owes his life to Kye. There was a tribute video screened during Kye’s funeral, which celebrated his life with his partner and friend. “I got him when he was about 16 months old – and I’ve been assigned with him ever since,” said Sgt. Stark in the video.
Even those who didn’t know Kye personally mourned his passing and wished their condolences on the Facebook post announcing his death. The post was shared more than 33,000 times. There was even a mother who was able to take a picture of Kye together with her son and Sgt. Stark and shared the picture with the police department. According to Newsday, one user commented, “Had tears in my eyes. He certainly deserves a funeral w honors & his name on a memorial for officers killed in the line of duty.”
The Oklahoma Police only had one message for the dog: “Godspeed, Kye. We’ll take it from here.”
[Images via OCPD Facebook]