On Saturday January 23rd, Kobus, the heroic and long-serving police dog in the Omaha K9 Unit was tragically killed during a shootout in Douglas County, Nebraska.
Standoff suspect, Mark L'Heureux, barricaded himself in his home and held the police at bay for nearly 26 hours at his Omaha home. On Friday afternoon, around 5pm, local deputies had tried to serve him with a warrant for a court-ordered stay in a psychiatric hospital. But L'Heureux refused to leave his home and began shooting when police tried to arrest him.
No police officers were injured, but it was Kobus who lost his life during the shootout.The suspect'swife and children managed to escape butdespite numerous attempts with a robot, gas, and even water, the police had to send Kobus in. Around 4pm the following day, Kobus was fatally shot by the suspect.
Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer announced:
Kobus was a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois who had served with OPD since 2008. Kobus was preparing to go into retirement in the next several months. The loss of our K-9 brings great sadness to the department and to his partner and handler, Officer Matthew McKinney. Kobus died in the line of duty in order to protect the lives of sworn law enforcement.
Authorities said Mark L’Heureux, 59, finally surrendered around 6:30 p.m on Saturday after firing at deputies and killing Kobus.
Sunday night, L’Heureux was in the Douglas County Jail, and is currently held on suspicion of three counts of attempted first-degree homicide, four counts of use of a weapon to commit a felony and one count of harassment of a police animal, which also is a felony.
Douglas County Mayor, Jean Stobhart, announced in an official statement:
The death of Kobus is tragic for the Omaha Police Department and especially for his handler Officer Matthew McKinney. Our police dogs provide more than safety to officers and citizens, they are part of a family. Kobus was a hero. He provided a great service at the scene of the dangerous standoff.
Thank you to everyone for your kind words, prayers and condolences. The Omaha Police Department considers every one of...Posted by Omaha Police Department on Sunday, 24 January 2016
The Omaha Police Department has set up a memorial fund to help raise money for protective equipment for future police dogs in the department.Two weeks ago, Jethro, an Ohio police dog died after being shot several times foiling a burglary attempt. It's time these dogs had some proper protection.RIP Kobus, and all our thoughts are with his handler,Matthew McKinney, during this tragic time.
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