Memorial for fallen Wichita police dog today at Century II

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A memorial service is planned for Friday, March 31 for a Wichita police dog killed in the line of duty.

A statement from the city says an hour-long ceremony for Rooster is planned Friday at 1 p.m. at Century II Exhibition Hall. Watch it live at kake.com or the KAKE-TV Facebook page.

Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said the event was moved from the City Hall Council Chambers due to "the overwhelming response and support from our community."

The K-9, Rooster, died during a Saturday night confrontation, which ended with officers shooting and killing a suspect.

"The service is open to members of the community and all first responders," a statement on Facebook said.

People willing to make donations in the wake of Rooster's death are asked to contact Chief Gordon Ramsay's office at (316) 268-4158.

Photos from officer-involved shooting on March 19


Previous story:

Wichita's police chief says a police K-9 shot and killed Saturday is the first police dog killed in the line of duty in the department's history.

Officers were called just before 8 p.m. to the Lamp Lighter Mobile Home Park near MacArthur and Hydraulic. Dispatchers informed them that a 25-year-old man had pointed a handgun at a woman and threatened to kill her and himself.

Officers arrived and confirmed the report with the woman who was outside the residence. She also said the suspect had held her for "a time," Chief Gordon Ramsay said. 

In their efforts to get the man to surrender peacefully, officers were able to get the suspect to come out, and he began walking toward officers with his hands up. Chief Ramsay said he then put his hands down and began walking back toward the home. 

That's when K-9 Officer Rooster was deployed to keep him from going back into the house. Rooster latched onto the suspect's leg. 

One officer then noticed as the suspect turned around that he had a gun in his waistband. Ramsay said the suspect reached for the weapon and one officer fired four times.

A second officer who saw muzzle flashes from the suspect's gun and fired three times. 

Rooster had been shot in the shoulder and neck area and died soon after.

The suspect, was hit by officers' gunfire and died at a local hospital. Ramsay identified him as Kevin C. Perry.

The first officer who fired is an 11-year veteran with the department and the second officer has been with the force for two years. Both are on administrative leave. 

Ramsay said Rooster was not wearing a vest and had been asked why. 

"The reality is, just like we don't like to wear the vests, the dogs don't either. The dogs begin to chew on them. We just don't keep them on them at all times."

He said the situation unfolded so rapidly that there was not enough time to put a vest on Rooster. 

"We believe the suspect shot the dog. We can't say for certainty until the necropsy and further review of evidence, but based on the video that we see and some evidence at the scene, preliminarily appears he was shot by the suspect."

Investigators from the Wichita Police Department, the KBI and the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office continue to review the incident. 

"It's unfortunate for everybody involved:  the suspect's family and loved ones and friends, as well as the officers that were involved with this, and especially the handler of Rooster."


Previous story:

Wichita police say two officers fired at a suspect Saturday night, after he first threatened to shoot a woman and himself. They add it's not certain how a police K-9 died during the confrontation.

A statement by Sgt. Nikki Woodrow released Sunday afternoon said the unidentified victim, 25, "walked toward officers and ignored police orders" at the Lamp Lighter Mobile Home Park. Then he turned around, and the K-9 Rooster was released to stop him from entering a home.

"Officers saw the suspect draw a gun from his waistband as he turned back toward them and one officer fired his weapon at the suspect," Woodrow said. "A second officer saw a muzzle flash from the suspect’s gun in the direction of the officers, at which time the second officer fired his weapon as well." The officers' names have not been released.

The suspect was pronounced dead at a hospital. Rooster was killed as well, but Woodrow seemed to walk back from earlier statements about the police dog. "We believe the K-9 was shot by the suspect," she said. A final determination will depend on a necropsy and review of evidence.

The next scheduled media briefing on the case is planned Monday morning. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office are reviewing what happened.

Woodrow said officers spotted a male suspect come out of a house with a gun. He then went back inside.

Police released a police K-9, Rooster, to help apprehend the suspect. Rooster was shot and killed by the suspect.

Officers returned fire, hitting the suspect. He was taken to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.

The shooting is under investigation.

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