UPDATE: LaVergne PD Announces Final Arrangements for K9 Killed in Line of Duty

Nov 19, 2020 at 11:34 am by WGNS

Final arrangements for the K9 killed in the line of duty have been announced by the La Vergne Police Department.

Officers will meet at the Animal Medical Center at 234 River Rock Blvd. in Murfreesboro at noon to pay respects to K9 Sjaak (pron: Jacques). At 1:00 p.m. Sjaak will be escorted to Faithful Friends Pet Memorial Services at 2611 Eugenia Ave. in Nashville.

“This is a difficult time for not only Officer Darby and his family, but for our entire department,” says Interim Police Chief Chip Davis. “Sjaak, and the other K9s, are a part of our family. We appreciate everyone who has taken time to reach out to our department in one way or another to offer their prayers and condolences.”

“We are encouraging everyone to line up in support of Officer Darby and Sjaak,” says PIO Anne Smith. “The procession route will go through La Vergne along Murfreesboro Road to give Sjaak a final ride through the city that he’s served dutifully since 2014.”

Sjaak is the first line of duty death for the La Vergne Police Department. He was shot three times on Tuesday, November 17 after a man opened fire on his handler’s patrol vehicle. His handler, Officer Justin Darby, was not injured in the shooting or subsequent chase. The TBI is the investigating agency and will release all information regarding the shooting investigation.

Sjaak will be buried with full honors. A memorial service will be planned for a later date.

Previous News Story

One suspect is dead and now a K-9 officer (Police Dog) has been reported as deceased, all due to a shooting that happened on Tuesday, November 17th.

Reports indicate the suspect pulled alongside a LaVergne Police Car being operated by Officer Darby who also had a police K9 in the vehicle. The suspect reportedly opened fire on the patrol vehicle while driving on Murfreesboro Road. Three of the shots believed to be fired by the gunman hit the police K9.

Authorities pursued the subject into an apartment complex at 1502 Rutherford Point Circle. There, the suspect exited his vehicle while allegedly firing at officers. Police returned fire and the man got back into his car and continued driving through the complex, striking another vehicle.

After the fleeing gunman struck a parked car, his vehicle came to a stop. It was at that point that LaVergne officers moved in and found that subject sustained gunshot wounds. The man was transported to a nearby hospital and confirmed to be deceased.

On Wednesday (11/18/20) evening, the K9 that was hit by a bullet underwent an emergency surgery. The LaVergne Police Department confirmed the animal died during the procedure stating, “It is with a heavy heart that the La Vergne Police Department announces K9 Sjaak has passed away. Sjaak (pron: Jacques) underwent surgery Wednesday evening but did not survive the operation.”

“Our hearts are broken,” says Interim Chief Chip Davis. “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 joined the La Vergne Police Department in 2014. He was shot three times when a man opened fire on Officer Darby’s patrol vehicle on Tuesday. Officer Darby was not injured in the shooting or subsequent chase.

Rutherford County District Attorney Jennings Jones has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to assist in the investigation into what occurred and why the shooter opened fire on Officer Darby and his partner, K9 Sjaak.

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