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Tributes Continue For Arizona Police Dog Killed In Line Of Duty

El Mirage Police Department

Members of Arizona’s law enforcement community are mourning the loss of a K-9 police officer assistant.

The police dog was fatally shot in suburban Phoenix Friday evening by a man who led officers on a foot chase. The El Mirage Police Department says its police dog named “Koki” was killed in the shooting by 38-year-old Joe Ruelas, who was wanted on suspicion of aggravated assault.

Police say Ruelas ran from the scene holding a handgun as he was being arrested and the dog’s handler let the animal loose to pursue Ruelas, who fatally shot Koki. Police say Ruelas then ran out of sight and was later found dead at a home in an apparent suicide. 

The El Mirage Police Department has posted a tribute to Koki on their facebook page and a public vigil was held for the K-9 on Saturday.