Gwinnett County police will hold a procession Tuesday for the K-9 who died during a shootout last week, authorities said.
The procession starts at 8:30 a.m. at the department’s training center on Winder Highway in Lawrenceville, according to Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Collin Flynn. The route will travel down Winder Highway and then 316 East, before turning right on Harbins Road. K-9 Blue will be laid to rest in a private ceremony at Oak Rest Pet Gardens at 2691 Harbins Road in Bethlehem.
K-9 Blue was killed while tracking a suspected car thief in Norcross on Thursday, police said. It’s still unclear whether the suspect shot K-9 Blue or if he was struck by Gwinnett officers during the shootout.
Just over a year ago, Blue was selected to become the first full-time dog dedicated to Gwinnett County’s SWAT team after a monthslong nationwide search.
“SWAT K-9 Blue was very sociable, which is why he was specifically selected and trained to meet the needs and mission capabilities of a SWAT canine, which are unique from traditional patrol canines,” Flynn said in a statement. “He was a dual purpose tracking/apprehension and explosives detection canine.”
Blue was the 11th police dog killed in the line of duty in 2020 in the U.S. and the second in Georgia, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
“The police department would like to thank the countless members of the public who have reached out with their condolences for SWAT K-9 Blue over the past few days,” Flynn said.