“I am sorry that your dog got shot,” is just part of the heartfelt message that second grader Cooper Kline wrote to a Florida sheriff’s deputy after his K-9 partner was shot and killed Christmas Eve.
Cigo, a three-year-old canine officer, was shot last week while pursuing 28-year-old suspect Giovany Ramos Alvarez during an exchange of gunfire at the Wellington Green Mall. Both Alvarez and 19-year-old Justin Vasquez were taken into police custody.
The dog was pronounced dead later at an animal shelter. An outpouring of grief followed in the community.
Mall employees created a makeshift tribute in the parking lot and officials announced a memorial service in January. But it’s Kline’s display of empathy that “truly moved” the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO).
A day later, Cooper addressed a letter to a “Deputy Ryan”.
“Thank you for keeping me safe,” Kline wrote. “Thank you for your service. Your dog did a lot for the world.”
“Don’t worry you will get a new buddy. Keep up the good work,” he continued. “I will keep praying for you to do good.”
“Keep arresting the bad guys and one day I hope I can meet you and your new dog!”
The sheriff’s office said on social media that Deputy Ryan “loved” the letter. So do we, Cooper.