Police Dog To Be Buried With Full Honours After Being Killed In Line Of Duty

by : Emily Brown on : 20 Nov 2020 17:52
Police Dog To Be Buried With Full Honours After Being Killed In Line Of DutyPolice Dog To Be Buried With Full Honours After Being Killed In Line Of DutyLa Vergne Police Department/Facebook

A police dog will be buried with full honours in Tennessee after being shot three times and killed in the line of duty. 

The Belgian Malinois K9, named Sjaak, joined the La Vergne Police Department in 2014 and was handled by officer Justin Darby. He was killed on Tuesday, November 17, when a man opened fire on Darby’s patrol vehicle.


The officer was not injured in the shooting or subsequent chase, but Sjaak, pronounced ‘Jacques’, was struck three times. He was taken to a vet and underwent emergency surgery the following evening but sadly did not survive the operation.

K9 Sjaak shot dead in line of dutyK9 Sjaak shot dead in line of dutyLa Vergne Police Department

La Vergne Police Department shared the news of the dog’s passing on Facebook, with Interim Chief Chip Davis saying the officers’ ‘hearts were broken’ at the loss of the team member.

Davis continued:


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.

In a statement released on Thursday, Davis added that the department appreciated ‘everyone who has taken time to reach out to our department in one way or another to offer their prayers and condolences.’

K9 Sjaak shot in line of dutyK9 Sjaak shot in line of dutyLa Vergne Police Department/Facebook

Officers held a procession for Sjaak as he was escorted to Faithful Friends Pet Memorial Services in Nashville. A La Vergne officer cited by People said the dog will be buried with full honours and memorial will be held for him at a later date.


Images shared by the police department show a picture of Sjaak surrounded with toys, candles and a sign reading ‘we love you’. Police offered ‘huge thanks to those who have taken time out of their day to leave something at the memorial set up in front of LVPD.’

Tribute to K9 SjaackTribute to K9 SjaackLA Vergne Police Department/Facebook

The suspect involved in Tuesday’s shooting, 39-year-old Jovan Brice, was declared dead following a police chase.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is in charge of the case, explained that Brice drove up alongside Darby’s patrol car before firing shots within.


Darby pursued the shooter and was joined by other officers as they followed Brice into a ‘residential complex’.


There, Brice got out of his car and fired again at the officers. Officers returned fire before Brice got back into his car and drove ‘further into the parking lot’, where he struck ‘a parked vehicle before coming to rest.’

Police approached the shooter and saw he had a gunshot wound. He was then taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.


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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Animals, Dogs, Now, tennessee


La Vergne Police Department/Facebook and 1 other
  1. La Vergne Police Department/Facebook


  2. People

    Police Dog Shot and Killed as Gunman Opens Fire on Patrol Car