Salt Lake City, UT- K9 Hondo was shot and killed in the line of duty Thursday night while trying to apprehend a wanted violent Fugitive who was also shot and killed.
Members of the Herriman Police Department said K9 Hondo was a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois born in Europe and began his police career in Utah in 2015.
Herriman Police Lt. Cody Stromberg said, “These animals are not just pets. They’re a part of our family, they’re a part of our law enforcement family. And we grieve for their loss in the line of duty the same as we would an officer. Tragically, when a K-9 loses their life it’s because they did their job. And Hondo did his job last night, which was to allow (Sgt. Ben Ricks) to return home to his family.”
The incident happened in downtown Salt Lake City near 400 East and 300 South.
According to Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Brandon Holt, the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Team was looking for Brian Francis Filion, 41. Filion was a wanted parole fugitive from Salt Lake City with a violent criminal history.
Filion was wanted in connection with a homicide investigation that occurred on February 8 in North Ogden.
The Fugitive Apprehension Team saw Filion coming out of an apartment and tried to arrest him but he ran.
“Officers deployed the use of a K-9 in an attempt to stop the suspect. When the K-9 approached, the suspect pulled out a firearm. Officers engaged the suspect (Filion), and the suspect was shot and killed,” the U.S. Marshal’s Office said.
During the confrontation, Hondo was shot in the sternum. He was rushed to a local clinic where he died from his injuries.
Herriman Police Chief Troy Carr said, “Hondo was a true warrior and his actions last night assured that his loving friend and partner, Ben, would be able to return home to his wife and children. We mourn the loss of a member of our family. But we honor his sacrifice.”
“Our hearts are broken this morning after learning of the death of Herriman City Police K9 Hondo, who was shot and killed late last night while apprehending a violent parole fugitive. Our thoughts are with Herriman PD and particularly with the K9 handler and his family, who lost their beloved partner and friend,” Unified police tweeted Friday.