Johnstown, PA – Johnstown Police Department (JPD) K9 Titan died in the line of duty while searching for suspects during a burglary-in-progress early Sunday morning.
The incident began at 4:19 a.m. on Nov. 22, when Johnstown police were dispatched to a report of a burglary at the old Goodwill warehouse located at 249 Maple Street, the department said in a press release.
Officers responded to the scene and quickly apprehended two suspects who were hiding inside the building.
They then learned there were three more suspects still unaccounted for, so they requested to have K9 Titan respond to the warehouse to help locate them, the JPD said.
As the seven-year-old Belgian Malinois searched the building for the remaining suspects, K9 Titan fell from the fourth floor “through an unsecured, open elevator shaft,” according to the department.
Officers conducted rescue efforts on the gravely-injured police K9, but he died at the scene.
Police conducted a secondary search of the warehouse and ultimately arrested the three additional suspects.
Unspecified charges are pending against Sean Robertson, 25, Robert McCarty, 52, Corey McCarty, 24, Derrick McCarty, 27, and Kayla McCarty, 22, according to the JPD.
“It is with great sorrow that we report the death of K9 Officer Titan,” JPD Interim Chief Chad Miller said in the press release on Sunday. “This morning, K9 Officer Titan died honorably in the line of duty while searching for individuals evading police during a burglary in progress.”
K9 Titan served alongside his human partner, JPD Officer Brian Stevens, since 2014.
A line of law enforcement vehicles escorted K9 Titan’s body from the JPD to the Hindman Funeral Home on Monday morning, videos and photos of the procession showed.
The Johnstown PD is mourning the loss of one of their own, K9 Titan. Titan died this morning when he fell through an unsecured elevator shaft while assisting officers in a warehouse search for 5 suspects. He served honorably since 2014. Rest Easy K9 Titan pic.twitter.com/EkiXvF3DpH
— K9s of Valor (@k9sofvalor) November 22, 2020
HAPPENING NOW: A procession for Johnstown K9 officer Titan is set to begin in just a few minutes. Dozen of people have lined the streets of downtown Johnstown to show their support. @WJACTV pic.twitter.com/isvxCNkqec
— Sydney Jaxtheimer (@sydney_jax) November 23, 2020
— Chip Minemyer (@Minemyerchip) November 23, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Johnstown Police Department and Officer Stevens in the loss of K9 Titan.