PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Police K-9 Unit is remembering one of its own.
The unit posted an emotional tribute to K-9 Rocco, who was killed in the line of duty six years ago to the day on Thursday.
“Today we remember K9 Rocco who paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date six years ago. Rocco died protecting the citizens of Pittsburgh, his fellow police officers and his handler Phil Lerza,” the unit’s Facebook post said.
Rocco was killed in January 2014 while trying to help take down convicted sex offender John Rush, who was wanted in connection with a violent home invasion.
Rush allegedly stabbed the 8-year-old German Shepherd with a 5-inch blade in the back.
Rocco fought to survive but ultimately died shortly after the stabbing.
Rocco’s death even led to the creation of Rocco’s Law, which increased penalties for killing a police K-9 officer.
There is also a memorial statue on the North Side that honors Rocco.
“RIP Rocco your sacrifice will never be forgotten,” the unit said on Facebook.