Monroe, LA – Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s K9 Boco was murdered in the line of duty on Aug. 17 as he chased an attempted murder suspect through the woods.
K9 Boco, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, was deployed after his fellow officers were dispatched to a report of a suspicious person on Chandler Road at approximately 7:30 p.m., the department said in a Facebook post.
The deputies arrived at the scene and confronted wanted second-degree attempted murder suspect Vincent Roberson, 58, who allegedly shot his girlfriend in the head.
Roberson fled into the woods behind a residence, at which point K9 Boco was deployed.
“Moments later deputies heard a volley of gunfire and were unable to locate Boco,” the sheriff’s department said.
Roberson was apprehended at approximately 2 a.m. on Aug. 18, but there was no celebration, the News Star reported.
The deputies refused to go off shift until K9 Boco was found.
Less than two hours later, deputies located and recovered the body of K9 Boco from the woods.
"Just before 4 a.m. Saturday morning I watched in complete silence as 10 of the toughest people I've ever known to wear the badge fought back tears," Lincoln Parish Chief Deputy Stephen Williams told the News Star. "Boco was gone. Boco will always be a partner, a brother in blue."
“Boco died heroically helping to apprehend a suspect in order to keep our community safe,” the sheriff’s department said.
In addition to other offenses, Roberson has been charged with injuring or killing of a police animal, the News Star reported.
K9 Boco joined the force in August of 2015, Deputy Williams said.
He was a member of the agency’s narcotics task force, and was quick to make friends.
Deputy Williams described K9 Boco as an “instigator,” and said he enjoyed sneaking up behind officers to grab their hand with his mouth, lick them on the arm, or jump into their laps as if he were a small dog.
K9 Boco served with his partner, Deputy Kyle Luker, and lived with Luker’s family.
"Boco knew everything there was to know about his handler," Deputy Williams told the News Star. "He knew his hobbies, his moods, his favorite foods and he knew more about baseball than he ever intended to."
He was credited with having made 111 cases during his career.
“He only had one goal — show up to work, give 100 percent and protect your handler at all costs," Deputy Williams said. "He did his job well. Boco was a huge asset for our department."
“He was one of us,” Deputy Chad Caskey told KNOE. “A lot of people look at it [like,] ‘Well, he was just a dog.’ No. He was a deputy just like every other person in this department.”
The sheriff’s department held a memorial service in K9 Boco’s honor on Aug. 30, the News Star reported.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department and Deputy Kyle Luker in the loss of K9 Boco.