‘Our hearts are broken’: Tennessee police mourn random shooting death of K-9 Officer Sjaak

LA VERGNE, Tenn. — A Tennessee police department is mourning the death of a K-9 officer after he was shot three times on Tuesday and died during surgery on Wednesday.

La Vergne Police Department K-9 Officer Sjaak was shot when Javon Brice, 39, opened fire on him and his handler, Officer Justin Darby, seemingly at random, investigators said.

Brice was killed during the subsequent shootout, investigators said. Darby wasn’t injured.

“Our hearts are broken,” interim Police Chief Chip Davis said in a news release. “Our K9s are members of the LPD family. Sjaak was an amazing and loyal dog. We ask everyone to keep Officer Darby, his family, and all of the La Vergne officers in your thoughts and prayers as we deal with this loss.”

Sjaak, a K-9 officer since 2014, was laid to rest Thursday at Faithful Friends Pet Memorial Services in Nashville. He was buried with full honors. A memorial service will be planned for a later date, the city said.

The K-9’s death was the first in the line of duty for La Vergne police.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the fatal shooting. 

Follow Brinley Hineman on Twitter: @brinleyhineman.

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