Wake Leaders Pay Respects to Fallen K9 Deputy

Longest-serving K9 Loses Life in Line of Duty

Photo of Fallen K9 Deputy draped in Black
Temporary Memorial for K9 Deputy Santos

Our Commission Chair, Shinica Thomas, issued this statement after learning the difficult news that a Wake County Sheriff's Office K9 deputy passed away today:

“On behalf of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, I extend our deepest sympathies to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office at the passing of Canine Deputy Santos this morning in the line of duty.

He was so much more than a dog; he was the Sheriff’s Office’s longest-serving K9 officer, a beloved partner to his handler, and a dedicated member of the canine unit who trained for and assisted with search operations.

Our hearts go out to the law enforcement community today, and our thoughts and prayers are with them in the days ahead as they grieve this tragic loss.”

A memorial is on display in front of the Public Safety Center on Salisbury Street in downtown Raleigh.

The entire Wake County Sheriff’s Office family is heartbroken after K9 Santos was shot and killed early this morning in the line of duty.

K9 Santos and his handler were called to assist Knightdale Police with a search for a suspect near N. Smithfield Road around 12:30 a.m. Friday, May 26. While the K9, deputy and a Knightdale police officer were tracking, K9 Santos was fatally wounded.

He was rushed to the emergency clinic at N.C. State University’s Veterinary Hospital, where he unfortunately died. We want to thank the veterinarians who did everything they could to help save him. Thank you to the Raleigh Police Department, Wake County ABC Officers and all first responders who provided comfort and support.

K9 Santos, a German shepherd, was skilled in tracking and protecting his handler with a fierce determination. He gave his life to ensure the safety of deputies and the residents of Wake County. Santos joined the Wake County Sheriff's Office in 2016, making him the longest serving K9 on the force. He is being remembered for his loyalty and service.

This loss comes during a month focused on remembering the law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Wake County's K9s are part of the law enforcement family, and the entire department and County mourn the loss of K9 Santos. 

Press Release