K9 Rocco

K9 Rocco

Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Thursday, January 30, 2014

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K9 Rocco succumbed to stab wounds sustained two days earlier while protecting his handler and another officer, who were in a violent struggle with a fugitive.

The subject had attempted to disarm a deputy earlier in the day when an Allegheny County sheriff's deputy attempted to arrest him for failure to register as a sex offender and home invasion. The man was able to flee after struggling with the deputy and fled to the 3700 block of Butler Street, where he was located several hours later.

Officer located him the basement of a building. When they entered the darkened room the man began swinging a 5-inch knife at them, wounding both officers. K9 Rocco attacked the subject but suffered a deep stab wound to the back, which punctured his kidney and spine. Rocco was taken to an emergency animal hospital where he underwent multiple surgeries and blood transfusions, but died two days later.

The subject was taken into custody and faces multiple charges.

K9 Rocco had served with the Pittsburgh Police Department for five years.


  • Breed German Shepherd
  • Gender Male
  • Age 8
  • Tour 5 years

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Incident Date Tuesday, January 28, 2014
  • Weapon Edged weapon

Most Recent Reflection

View all 234 Reflections

"There is a reason why God is Dog spelled backwards." Its been over a year, K9 Officer Rocco, but you are still here. You are never forgotten. A true "guardian of the night," and a brave hero. At your memorial service, the K9 trainer accurately stated that a K9's loyalty and commitment to their partner is unmatched. Indeed that is true. Run free in heaven brave guardian and hero. Run free, until you are reunited with your human family one day. Thank you for your selfless sacrifice and heroic service to Officer Phil Lerza, your partner and to the City of Pittsburgh.

Camille R Svilar
Citizen of the City of Pittsburgh

February 25, 2015

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