Hero Down: Palm Beach County K9 Cigo Fatally Shot By Attempted Murder Suspect

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office K9 Cigo still managed to reach the gunman, despite being mortally wounded.

Wellington, FL – Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBCSO) K9 Cigo was murdered in the line of duty on Christmas Eve, after he was shot by the attempted homicide suspect he was pursuing.

“Our hearts are truly broken after a suspect shot and killed our K9 Dog tonight, on Christmas Eve,” Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said in a media release. “He did his job, giving his life to save and protect our own.”

The altercation occurred near The Mall at Wellington Green at 5:40 p.m., as officers positioned themselves to intercept and apprehend two suspects, at least one of whom was wanted for robbery with a firearm and attempted first degree murder in another case, Sheriff Bradshaw explained during a press conference on Monday night.

At the mall, the two men met up with a third suspect – a known Latin Kings gang member – who tried to escape on foot when deputies moved in on the group.

The deputies released K9 Cigo to apprehend him.

As the 3-year-old German Shepherd raced after him, the wanted fugitive turned around and shot him.

Despite being mortally wounded, K9 Cigo still managed to reach his target, the sheriff said.

The deputies returned fire, striking the suspect, who remains hospitalized in serious condition with multiple gunshot wounds.

K9 Cigo was rushed to an animal hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.

“He did his job, and saved those deputies’ lives,” Sheriff Bradshaw said. “[He] gave them the opportunity to take this person into custody, who just randomly fired at the first thing he could see.”

Deputies later identified the gunman as 28-year-old attempted homicide suspect Giovany Ramos Alvarez, WPTV reported.

One of the suspects, identified as 19-year-old Justin Vazquez, surrendered without incident, police said.

Investigators are still working to identify the remaining suspect, Sheriff Bradshaw told reporters.

Deputies recovered Alvarez’s .45-caliber handgun at the scene, and said that it was the same type of weapon that was used in the attempted murder approximately two weeks ago, according to the sheriff.

The department said that K9 Cigo had been working with his handler for approximately one year, WPTV reported.

“He’s a good boy and he will never be forgotten,” the agency tweeted on Christmas morning.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in the loss of K9 Cigo.

Rest easy, hero. Your life mattered.

Comments (14)
No. 1-8
Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Well, this clears up who shot the k9 unit. Good follow up.

Patmandy
Patmandy

To the partner of the fallen K-9 officer Cigo, my prayer is that you will remember how well you two worked together and what a wonderful k-9 he was. My heart goes out to you but I see a lot of love and support in the video so that will help you during the next weeks. I want to thank you and all the Police officers who put their lives on the line everyday. You are the true heros. God Bless you.

MrAgent007
MrAgent007

This K9 was killed because of an incompetent K9 handler. Why would anyone send a K9 to encounter a suspect who is armed? The K9 can’t protect itself from being shot or stabbed. Sending this K9 to encounter an armed suspect was sending it on a suicide mission. If the officer is to scared or incompetent to deal directly with the armed suspect, please leave the profession immediately! Another senseless and avoidable K9 death!

gfc1963
gfc1963

RIP Cigo!

SirCharles6960
SirCharles6960

RIP Cigo and this is why I think that they shouldn't even use dogs its animal cruelty for this reason.