An Oklahoma City police K-9 officer that was killed in the line of duty was laid to rest Thursday morning.
K-9 Kye, 3, was killed after being stabbed by a suspect who led officers on a high-speed chase, according to police. Kye's partner, Sgt. Ryan Stark, tried to stop the suspect from repeatedly stabbing Kye, but could not.
Stark shot and killed the suspect, Mark Salazar, and ended the attack.
Kye was rushed to surgery, and the next day, he never woke up and never answered this final radio call out. Its significance may not be understood by everyday people, but it is felt.
“Stand by for emergency broadcast. Santa Fe to K7 Kye. Santa Fe to K7 Kye. Santa Fe to K7 Kye. Santa Fe to all units. K7 Kye has answered his final call. Santa Fe to all units. K7 Kye has answered his final call. Santa Fe to all units. K7 Kye has answered his final call. End of watch. August 25, 2014.”
“Good night, buddy.”
In his short career Kye was responsible for 55 apprehensions, took drugs off the streets and located missing people. His funeral was held at 11 a.m. Thursday at the First Southern Baptist Church at 6400 South Sooner Road. It was open to the public.
People all over the state came to the First Southern Baptist Church on South Sooner Road in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City Police Chaplain Greg Giltner read a poem that started with, "I will lay down my life for you," describing Kye and what all K-9 officers do in the line of duty.
Sgt. Coy Gilbert with the department's K-9 unit spoke about Kye and what he meant to the police department, and more so, what he meant to his partner Ryan Stark and his family.
Gilbert told the crowd in two years, Kye did more than 100 building searches, and more than 20 drug sweeps, and is responsible for getting lots of drugs off the streets.
But Gilbert said Kye was known for diligently tracking down suspects, and apprehending 57 suspects while in the line of duty. Gilbert said Kye and Stark had just been accepted onto the tactical team. Gilbert said Kye saved his partner and he did not die in vain.
Gilbert ended by saying a poem dedicated to Kye.