Law enforcement bid farewell to fallen Wichita police dog

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The Wichita Police Department on Friday held a touching memorial service for a K-9 killed in the line of duty earlier this month.

The ceremony for Rooster, the first police dog to die in the line of duty in the department's history, was held at 1 p.m.  at Century II Exhibition Hall in downtown Wichita. 

Dozens of Kansas Patriot Guard riders proudly waved American flags outside the memorial and numerous police K-9 officers and and their handlers from law enforcement agencies across the state joined in a procession through Exhibition Hall.

Rooster's handler, Officer Daniel Gumm, spoke during the service.

"It's difficult to explain the bond that you have with your dog. Especially when you're put in life-threatening situations," Gumm said.

Gumm and Rooster served Wichita since August 2012. During their five years of service, the duo racked up an impressive resume. The two seized 256 pound of marijuana, 10 pounds of meth and more than $31,000.

Rooster tracked down dozens of criminals and worked numerous SWAT situations. Gumm says Rooster was fearless.

"It 's pretty amazing what we can teach these dogs to do, and what they'll do for us without any hesitation at all and more conviction than any person ever could," Gumm said.

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 March 18 confrontation, which ended with officers shooting and killing a suspect.

The service was 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 from Monday, March 20:

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."

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