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Slain Connecticut police dog receives state’s first K9 Medal of Valor

A Connecticut State Police dog killed last month while trying to apprehend a fleeing suspect was posthumously awarded the state's first K9 Medal of Valor on Tuesday.

The dog, known as Broco, was hailed as a “fallen hero” as state police attempted to serve Vaughn R. Malloy, 42, on Dec. 21 with a warrant for a 2022 shooting. He was recognized for his role in saving the lives of police officers and other police officers. Police then shot and killed Malloy.

Connecticut man reportedly fired at police dog before being shot and killed by police

“Bloco wasn't just a pet. He was a hero,” Department of Emergency Services and Civil Protection Commissioner Ronnell Higgins said at a memorial service hosted by state police. “His selflessness and loyalty protected police officers and law enforcement that night, as he has done throughout his life.”

This image, taken from body camera footage provided by the Connecticut Office of the Inspector General, shows a man lying on the ground after being shot by police while fleeing from the back of a home in the Pawcatuck neighborhood of Stonington, Conn., near the Rhode Island border. Vaughan Malloy is pictured. , Thursday, December 21, 2023. Malloy, who was shot and killed by police, had a handgun and attempted to fire it at a police dog, according to a preliminary report released Wednesday by the state Office of the Inspector General. He was trying to escape from state troopers and other law enforcement officers who had a warrant for a 2022 shooting. (Connecticut Office of the Inspector General, via AP)

First Officer Gregory Fasendini, who has been Rocco's handler since 2020, said he was in awe of his canine partner's abilities.

“At times, I thought of myself as his driver because he was so dedicated and so good at his job,” he said.

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Broco was the first Connecticut State Police dog to die in the line of duty due to gunfire. After fleeing a home in Stonington's Pawcatuck neighborhood near the Rhode Island border, Malloy fired several shots at the dog and the police officer, killing the dog, according to a preliminary report from the state's Office of Inspector General.

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