Waco Police K9 Kastor Fatally Shot While Attacking Handler
Waco, TX – Waco Police Department K9 Kastor died in the line of duty on Oct. 5, after he attacked his human partner as they prepared to breach the front door of a residence to serve a warrant.
The incident took place in front of a home on the 2000-block of Seneca Avenue, as local and federal officers attempted to take 31-year-old robbery suspect Kevin Copeland into custody, KWKT reported.
For reasons that were not immediately known, K9 Kastor suddenly turned and bit his partner, Waco Police Officer Michael Bucher, on his inner thigh, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.
“The handler was continually giving commands for the dog to stop as Waco Detective Eric Trojanowski was attempting to physically pull Kastor away from the attack,” Waco Police Sergeant W. Patrick Swanton said during a Monday press conference, according to KWTX.
The bite was dangerously close to Officer Bucher’s femoral artery.
Despite “repeated and multiple attempts to stop Kastor by physical, verbal, and other methods, Kastor would not stop the attack,” Sgt. Swanton explained.
Officer Bucher ultimately instructed Det. Trojanowski to “put Kastor down to stop the attack,” the sergeant said.
The detective fired one round, fatally wounding the two-year-old Belgian Malinios.
K9 Kastor died at the scene, Sgt. Swanton said.
Officer Bucher, a 14-year veteran of the department, was rushed to a local medical center for treatment of his injuries, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.
He has since been released from the hospital.
Copeland was not located inside the residence, but was later apprehended in Ennis, Texas, KWKT reported.
“This was a tragedy for all involved and we want to ensure everything possible is done to keep this from ever occurring again,” Sgt. Swanton said during the press conference, according to KWTX. “At this early juncture, it appears that the involved officers acted appropriately during the incident.”
Sgt. Swanton said the department plans to conduct a “complete and thorough review” of both the attack, and the K9 program as a whole.
K9 Kastor was the youngest of the three-member Waco Police Department K9 unit, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.
He and Officer Bucher had been working together for approximately eight months, three of which were spent in training, KCEN reported.