Watch: Ill. sheriff's K-9 honored for 'unwavering bravery' after being killed in shootout
Because of K-9 Hudson's bravery, he "isolated the suspect so no other citizens or officers were hurt in the encounter," Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said
By Megan Jones
The Beacon-News, Aurora, Ill.
AURORA, Ill. — A Kane County Sheriff's Office K-9 killed last week during a shootout was honored by hundreds of law enforcement officers, many accompanied by their K-9s, Thursday during a funeral service in a gymnasium at Kaneland Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove.
Hudson, a 4-year-old Dutch shepherd, died May 24 after he was deployed when police said they saw the man involved in the shootout with Kane County Sheriff's deputies had a handgun.
Sheriff's officials said the man involved in the shootout with police allegedly carjacked a Honda Accord in Aurora. The vehicle was later spotted by deputies using license plate readers in South Elgin, according to officials.
Police chased the vehicle from South Elgin to a busy intersection at Randall Road and Fabyan Parkway at the border of Batavia and Geneva. There the man exited his vehicle with a handgun and Hudson was deployed, Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said.
Hudson gripped onto the man's arm and bit him and was in an active struggle with the man, officials said. An exchange of gunfire then occurred, Hain said, during which the man and Hudson were shot and killed.
Hain said Hudson acted without hesitation in the true definition of bravery and made the ultimate sacrifice.
"While gunfire in the middle of one of the busiest intersections in Kane County during 3 p.m. on a Wednesday would ultimately take Hudson's life, his unwavering bravery isolated the suspect so no other citizens or officers were hurt in the encounter," Hain said.
At the service, the Rev. Steve Gallaher of Christ Community Church in St. Charles said Hudson's dedication and loyalty were on display the day of the shootout, as he was "designed and eventually trained to protect and serve."
Gallaher also talked about the close relationship Hudson had with handler Kane County Sheriff's Det. Luke Weston. A video highlighting Hudson's life was shown, highlighting some of the training obstacles he went through, some of the investigations he was involved in and time spent at home with Weston.
"After Hudson was shot, he was crawling toward his partner and handler," Gallaher said. "He was a loyal warrior all the way until the end, serving and protecting."
Residents also attended the event to pay their respects and watch as other K-9s and their handlers walked through the gymnasium. Kristen Leiva, of Sugar Grove, said her 10-year-old daughter asked to attend the funeral and brought flowers.
"She wanted to come because she is an animal lover and wanted to honor him," Leiva said.
A photo of Hudson, his collar and an imprint of his paw were on display at the front of the gym.
Hudson was a narcotics detection dog working for the sheriff's office the last three years. He was utilized for over 100 tracks of criminal offenders and missing people in his short career, Hain said. He also helped locate evidence for ongoing investigations and detected and seized over 100 kilograms of narcotics, officials said.
After the service, Hudson's cremated remains were escorted in a police procession to the Kane County Sheriff's Department headquarters.
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