On Dec. 11, 2012, ATF's Special Response Team attempted to execute a high risk arrest warrant on four male suspects related to an ongoing armed robbery investigation. SRT K-9 Nash and his special agent handler were assigned to the arrest team. As the team moved in to take the suspects into custody, the suspects began to flee on foot. The handler deployed K-9 Nash to apprehend one of the fleeing suspects. As K-9 Nash closed in on the suspect, another suspect suddenly drew a handgun and opened fire on the arrest team.
This gunfire drew K-9 Nash’s attention away from the suspect he was pursuing and over to the suspect who was firing on the special agents. As K-9 Nash approached this suspect to apprehend him, the suspect redirected his fire from the arrest team toward K-9 Nash, striking him at least four times. The handler and other agents returned fire and the suspect was apprehended with no injuries to any of the special agents. K-9 Nash was immediately transported to an emergency veterinarian where, despite every possible attempt to save him, K-9 Nash died from the injuries he sustained trying to protect his team.
The ATF SRT, accelerant detection, and explosives detection K-9s are not only a critical part of the ATF mission, but they are part of our family. They live full-time with their handlers, are adopted by them upon retirement, and provide a kind of support in the field to solve cases that no human being or machine can match. We will never forget the sacrifice of K-9 Nash and honor the work of every one of our and our law enforcement partners' loyal K-9 team members.
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