Normandy, MO - Normandy Police K9 Argo died on Tuesday, Nov. 7, two days after he was injured from a four-story fall.
The injury happened two days earlier, on Sunday, Nov. 5, when K9 Argo and his handler, Normandy Police Officer Matt Miller, had just finished an accident investigation when a hailstorm suddenly and unexpectedly moved in, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
They took shelter in a parking garage located on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus, as many officers do when inclement weather happens, to avoid damage to their police vehicles.
Officer Miller believed that the storm spooked K9 Argo, so he let him out of his cruiser to calm him down. Without warning, K9 Argo ran toward a wall where hail could be heard slamming on the other side.
Sergeant Tim Conner, Normandy K9 supervisor, said that K9 Argo ran toward the wall, which appeared to be level with the ground, but actually led to a four-story drop.
"We don’t know if he tried to jump the wall thinking someone was over there or just to see what was over there. But that’s like being hit by a car-head on at 40 mph,” Sgt. Conner said.
The K9 was rushed to a vet, who said that K9 Argo had suffered some broken ribs, a broken leg, and a possibly punctured lung.
Sgt. Conner said that K9 Argo appeared to be improving, even standing on his back legs with his paws on a table at one point.
Unfortunately, the K9's internal injuries worsened and he died about 10 minutes after his handler left him Tuesday night.
Officer Miller and K9 Argo transferred to Normandy from the Ferguson Police Department in December, 2016.
K9 Argo served proudly in detecting drugs or other evidence, tracking suspects, and searching buildings.
He was admired by many for one bust, where he alerted Officer Miller to $150,000 inside a vehicle during a traffic stop based on the smell of drugs on the money.
K9 Argo was one of two K9s for the Normandy Police Department, and the second K9, Toma, was brought to see his body on Wednesday.
Sgt. Conner said that after K9 Toma saw K9 Argo's body that she had been whimpering non-stop.
"The idea is to let her see him so she knows and it gives her some closure,” Sgt. Conner said.
K9 Argo's body was escorted from the vet's office to Baue Funeral Home at St. Charles Memorial Gardens on Wednesday by a line of police cruisers and fire trucks.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Normandy Police Department and Officer Miller in the loss of Normandy Police K9 Argo.