MESQUITE, Texas — UPDATE [April 29] — Mesquite Police Department K9 Officer Kozmo showed signs of trauma consistent with an assault, according to a necropsy which was conducted following Kozmo's death early Monday morning.
K9 Kozmo, Badge No. 1191, had been involved in a search for multiple aggravated robbery suspects in Balch Springs when he was found deceased.
Due to the results of the necropsy, Mesquite police say probable cause has been obtained to charge one of the aggravated robbery suspect's in Kozmo's death.
The aggravated robbery suspect, who is a 16-year-old male juvenile, will be charged with interference with a police service animal causing injury or death, a second-degree felony.
Due to the male juvenile's age, police did not release his identity.
Kozmo had been with the Mesquite Police Department since March 2017 and, during his four-year career, had been partnered with Officer Jason Crawford.
According to the department, Kozmo and Crawford had assisted in the locating of over 200 criminal suspects and the seizure of nearly 200 pounds of illegal narcotics.
"K9 Kozmo was the best of the best," read a statement from the department. "He was a loyal partner to his handler and a dedicated servant to our community. K9 Kozmo excelled in all aspects of police canine work; however, he and Officer Crawford REALLY enjoyed tracking and locating felony suspects who had escaped capture."
"K9 Kozmo was killed in the line of duty on April 26, 2021, while valiantly serving our community. While we mourn the loss of our family member, we appreciate his sacrifice and know that his service has made Mesquite a safer place to live and work."
"Rest in Peace Kozmo – you will be missed, but never forgotten," continued the statement.
ORIGINAL [April 26] — The Mesquite Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its K-9 officers, Kozmo.
"It should be noted that our K9s are members of the MPD family," read a statement from the Mesquite Police Department on Monday morning. "Kozmo was an amazing and loyal dog who gave his life in the performance of his duties. We ask everyone to keep all of our officers in their thoughts and prayers as we deal with this loss."
At approximately 2:39 a.m., on Monday, April 26, 2021, the Mesquite Police Department was dispatched to assist the Balch Springs Police Department in the pursuit of multiple aggravated robbery suspects who fled from police.
During the pursuit, police officers deployed spike strips and disabled the suspect vehicle near Burton Road and Interstate Highway 635. There, the suspects fled on foot into a wooded area adjacent to the highway.
"During the foot pursuit, MPD K-9 Kozmo, Badge #1191 was utilized to track the suspects," stated the department. "The suspects were eventually located and taken into custody, but K-9 Kozmo was not located until approximately 4:13 A.M."
After an extensive search, according to police, K-9 Kozmo was located and found to be deceased.
Authorities have ordered a necropsy and other testing to determine K-9 Kozmo's manner of death.
A memorial service will be held for K-9 Kozmo with additional details being released by the department as they become available.