Officers Fatally Shoot Man Who Killed St. Paul Police K-9

Updated: 02/13/2013 12:12 AM KSTP.com By: Scott Theisen

A search Tuesday for a fugitive at a St. Paul house led police to shoot and kill a Missouri man who officers say fatally stabbed a police K-9.

The shooting happened at about 1:10 p.m. while members of the U.S. Marshals, Ramsey County deputies and St. Paul police searched a home on the 700 block of Aurora Street.

The members of the of the North Star Fugitive Task Force were looking for the man in connection to a first-degree criminal sexual conduct warrant.

Authorities say they found the man in the basement armed with a knife. They sent police K-9 officer Kody in to retrieve him. Kody was stabbed multiple times, and died.

Police then began firing at the suspect, killing him. No one else was hurt.

The suspect's identity is being withheld until the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office can make a positive identification. Names of the officers involved were not released.

Willie Graham, a relative of the suspect, told KSTP that his nieces and nephews live at the home. But Graham didn't know who police were searching for.

St. Paul police say it has been a couple of years since a K-9 officer has died in the line of duty. The last K-9 to die was Laser with Officer Tim Jones.

Kody was 9 years old and had been with the department for seven years. His handler was Officer David Longbehn.

Back in 2010, Longbehn shot and killed the suspect who killed Maplewood Police Sgt. Joe Bergeron.

Mayor Chris Coleman released the following statement Tuesday: "My heart goes out to Officer Longbehn and his family as they cope with the loss of Kody. Kody was Officer Longbehn's eyes and ears on the front line and served Dave, the Saint Paul Police Department, and our city with honor for seven years. K-9 dogs take on whatever task is asked of them, oftentimes amidst the worst of circumstances. I thank him for his sacrifice for the city, I am thankful for the safety of Officer Longbehn and other officers involved in this incident, and I will remember Kody fondly as a good partner and companion for Officer Longbehn and the City of Saint Paul."