K9 officer honored as hero after shootout

K9 officer honored as hero after shootout
A K9 officer from the Jonesboro Police Department is being hailed a hero after a shootout at the Gladiolus apartment complex.

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A K9 officer from the Jonesboro Police Department is being hailed a hero after a shootout at a Jonesboro apartment complex this week.

K9 officer Gabo was shot multiple times Dec. 11 after being deployed into the apartment complex, where a suspect had been for nearly four hours.

The suspect, Brenda Thomas, had shot a victim earlier in the night and reportedly later would not cooperate with officers in negotiations.

When Gabo went into the apartment, Thomas immediately began shooting at Gabo and officers forcing them to use lethal force, police said.

Luckily, Gabo was wearing a bulletproof vest.

He was rushed to a vet and was alert Wednesday morning.

Sgt. Lyle Waterworth with the Jonesboro Police Department realized the value of the bulletproof vest.

“He was shot more than once, luckily we’ve gotten a donation of a bullet-proof vest for the dog and he was shot in that bulletproof vest,” said Waterworth. “It caught one of the rounds and kept it from penetrating his body.”

It is unknown what the future will hold for Gabo.

But, the lead trainer of JPD K9, Blake Bristow, has high hopes.

"If he returns to the street, I'm sure we'll go through a week of refresher just to see where he is and make sure everything's good and his mind is right," said Bristow. "Which he will be, Gabo, this is his life."

Officer Gabo is a sworn officer just like any other JPD officer.

He has gone through numerous hours of training and has been trained to fight until the very end, officials said Wednesday.

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