A Washington State police dog made a full recovery after being critically injured on the job. And when he was released from the hospital, a crowd of people was waiting to give him a proper hero’s welcome.
Last week, Deputy Terry Tifft was on patrol with his K9 partner Riggs when he responded to a tip about a Chicago murder suspect hiding in the area. The fugitive was suspected of killing two men in the Hermosa neighborhood of Chicago. On Thursday, the suspect shot the first victim at a local bus stop. Then he killed another man a block away while stealing their car.
The tip led Tifft and other area deputies to a gas station when they found and confronted the suspect. But once the man saw the officers, he pulled a gun and ran. Riggs, who is a five-year Kenosha P.D. veteran, chased the suspect and brought him to the ground. But in the process, the man shot Riggs once in the forehead.
“In a lot of ways, he’s a hero today,” Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told the Washington Examiner. “He took the suspect down and kept him from running onto Highway 50. Who knows if he would’ve tried to carjack someone on the highway.”
The K9 had stopped the suspect long enough for the deputies to fire back and eventually arrest the man. Riggs was still conscious and able to walk away from the scene, but he was taken to a local emergency clinic.
“They brought him in, we triage him, and they decided we just kind of had to see what was all going on,” said veterinarian Taylor Naef. “We stabilized him [and] he was a little shaky after taking a bullet to the head.”
Upon Leaving the Hospital, Kenosha Police Dog Riggs Was Honored By the Local Community
After a week, Riggs had fully recovered. And when he was released from the veterinarian hospital, proud community members, local deputies, and fellow dogs had lined the street to cheer for the dog as officer Tifft drove Riggs to the dog’s favorite park during a procession.
Upon reaching the park, the crowd stood silent as they watched a flyover salute. And after, officers told everyone the story of Riggs’s heroic chase.
“It has been a rough few days,” Deputy Tifft said. “He’s family, he’s always been … He’s a sweet dog, but he did his job, and he saved my life.”
“The show of support from the community means more to me than you guys will ever know,” Tifft continued.
Deputy Tift told reporters that he would like to continue working alongside his canine partner. But because Riggs was injured, he’ll likely retire.