North Charleston, SC – North Charleston Police K9 Mojo was killed on Thursday night when a drunk driver crashed into the patrol vehicle he was riding in.
North Charleston Police Officer Brandon VanAusdal and his K-9 partner Mojo were rushing to a call when an SUV pulled out in front of VanAusdal’s cruiser, causing a collision, the Post and Courier reported.
Police said that Officer VanAusdal was responding to a burglary on Rivers Avenue, coding to the scene using lights and sirens, when a GMC Yukon crossed in front of him at the Gumwood Boulevard intersection.
Officer VanAusdal’s police vehicle struck the passenger side of the SUV, and K9 Mojo was mortally wounded.
K9 Mojo was transported to a veterinary clinic, where he died. His partner, Officer VanAusdal, was hospitalized following the collision.
Police arrested 37-year-old Richard Joseph Shore and charged him with felony DUI with great bodily injury, South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Corporal David Jones said.
Shore suffered only minor injuries, but the charges against him carry 30 days and 15 years in prison.
Officer VanAusdal, who has been a North Charleston officer since November 2011, remained in a hospital on Friday morning, the police said.
“We too grieve for the loss of Mojo, a K-9 of the department,” North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said. “Two-legged or four, all working in police service are considered officers.”
K9 Mojo served the North Charleston Police Department for five years.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of North Charleston Police K9 Mojo, both blood and blue. Godspeed, we will take the watch from here.
Thank you for your service.