‘RIP Good Boy’: Colorado law enforcement mourning after K-9 killed by armed suspect

Fallen K-9 Graffit
Fallen K-9 Graffit(Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 7:50 AM MST|Updated: Feb. 14, 2023 at 11:33 AM MST
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For those wishing to help fund a memorial for fallen K-9 Graffit, donations can be made through the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Employee Assistance Fund: jeffcosheriff.co/GraffitFund. The memorial will stand in the sheriff’s office Memorial Garden.

GOLDEN, Colo. (KKTV) - The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is grieving after one of its canines was killed in the line of duty early Monday morning.

The canine officer lost his life protecting his fellow officers and trying to capture an armed suspect who had escaped law enforcement during an arrest attempt.

“We’ve always known Graffit was brave; today he proved a hero. RIP Good Boy,” the sheriff’s office tweeted.

The incident started just after midnight when Golden and Colorado School of Mines police tried to tend to a man found unresponsive in a car parked near the campus.

“The vehicle was occupied by a single male who was slumped over the steering wheel and non-responsive to officers’ attempts to alert him,” the Golden Police Department wrote in a news release following the incident.

The driver eventually woke up, saw he was surrounded by police and started driving slowly away. He stopped a few blocks away and slumped over his steering wheel again.

“Officers ... attempted to wake him. The suspect woke and began ramming officers’ patrol cars in an attempt to escape. Officers were able to break the driver’s side window and put the vehicle in park. While removing the suspect from the vehicle, the suspect was able to free himself from officers’ grasp and ran eastbound on 19th Street,” the news release said.

As a Golden officer chased after the suspect, the man turned and pointed his gun, then fled into the nearby woods.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit responded to help with the search.

“While tracking the suspect, the K-9 was released and given the order to apprehend. The suspect fired shots striking and killing the K-9. A JCSO deputy returned fire,” Golden Police Department said.

SWAT joined law enforcement at the scene, and just before 5 a.m., the suspect emerged from the woods and surrendered.

“He was in possession of a holster without a gun in it. The gun was located in the nearby vicinity,” Golden Police Department said.

A memorial service is being planned for K-9 Graffit.