K9 officer’s story sparks support from across the country

A K9 officer from the Jonesboro Police Department is being hailed a hero after a shootout at...
A K9 officer from the Jonesboro Police Department is being hailed a hero after a shootout at the Gladiolus apartment complex.(Source: KAIT-TV)
Updated: Dec. 19, 2018 at 9:46 PM CST
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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A tragic situation gained attention across the country.

After a shooting and standoff that happened at a Jonesboro apartment complex last week, K9 officer Gabo’s road to recovery blew up on social media.

Posts just like one from the Jonesboro Fraternal Order of Police Facebook page showing video of his release from the veterinarian’s office were viewed 9.8 million times.

Attention like that brought letters of support, monetary donations, and even the promise of bulletproof vests for each K9 on the Jonesboro Police Department's K9 Unit.

"Out of tragedy, some good things have come through," Police Chief Rick Elliott said.

That tragedy sent one man to the hospital, left the suspect dead, and JPD K9 officer Gabo recovering from four gunshots.

"The vest that he was wearing did prevent him from taking a fatal shot," Elliott said.

It was a bulletproof vest that was donated by an organization called Vested Interest.

Once Gabo's heroic story was shared all over social media, that same organization reached out to help again, volunteering to outfit the JPD K9s that don't already have one, with their own bulletproof vests.

"But more important, the company is also going to outfit our K9 Unit, all seven dogs, with an emergency kit," Elliott said. "It's like a first aid kit for dogs, free of charge."

It will save the department thousands of dollars while supplying them with tools that will be invaluable.

"We're blessed that there are people out there that do things like that," Elliott said.

It's people from across the country and right here in Jonesboro.

Elliott said thanks to all of the support, other than follow up visits, the department does not have any veterinary expenses.

"I just want to thank everybody in the community for reaching out," Elliott said.

And as for Gabo, he's confined to light duty for now.

But like any other officer would be, he's itching to get back to serving his community.

"The handler says he's ready to go back to work, wants to get in the vehicle to go to work," Elliott said.

Chief Elliott said if Gabo’s healing continues as expected, he’ll be back to work in six weeks.

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