Hero Police Dog Stabbed to Death While Searching for Armed Robbery Suspects in Arizona

Kenzo, a courageous K9 with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona, died in the line of duty

<p>Oro Valley Police Department/ Facebook</p> Kenzo the K-9

Oro Valley Police Department/ Facebook

Kenzo the K-9

A beloved K-9 with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona was killed in the line of duty while searching for armed robbery suspects.

On Friday at about 8 p.m., deputies from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department Rincon District and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit were investigating an armed robbery, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department said in a release.

When one of the alleged suspects entered a fenced commercial yard, deputies sent in their K9, Kenzo, to find him.

When K-9 Kenzo stopped responding to his handler during the search, deputies entered the yard.

After locating the suspect and taking him into custody, they found K-9 Kenzo in the yard, unresponsive, next to the suspect and suffering from life-threatening injuries.

Kenzo was rushed to a veterinary hospital, where he later died.

The dog had injuries that were consistent with stab wounds.

A necropsy is scheduled to be performed.

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An investigation led to the arrest of Juan Tacho, 32, who faces charges including armed robbery, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

<p>Pima County Sheriff's Department</p> Juan Tacho

Pima County Sheriff's Department

Juan Tacho

In addition, 35-year-old Cody Bartlett was also arrested and faces charges of armed robbery, aggravated robbery, and killing/harming a work/service animal.

<p>Pima County Sheriff's Department</p> Cody Bartlett

Pima County Sheriff's Department

Cody Bartlett

Additional charges are forthcoming, say authorities.

Tacho and Bartlett were booked into the Pima County Adult Detention Complex.

It is unclear whether they have retained attorneys who can speak on their behalf.

An investigation is ongoing.

“We are saddened by the loss of K-9 Kenzo and reminded of the dangers our deputies face along with their K-9 partners who serve right beside them,” the Pima County Sheriff’s Department said.

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