K9 Santos

K9 Santos

Wake County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Friday, May 26, 2023

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K9 Santos was inadvertently shot and killed while conducting a canine track of a suspect near North Smithfield Road in the Carrington Woods section of Knightdale.

Officers with the Knightdale Police Department had conducted a traffic stop during which a passenger of the vehicle fled into a wooded area at about 12:30 am. K9 Santos' handler responded to the scene to assist with a track of the suspect. During the track, a Knightdale police officer had an accidental discharge, and the bullet struck K9 Santos.

K9 Santos was taken to North Carolina State University Veterinary Hospital where he passed away.

K9 Santos had served with the Wake County Sheriff's Office for seven years.


  • Breed German Shepherd
  • Gender Male
  • Age 8
  • Tour 7 years

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)
  • Weapon Officer's handgun

traffic stop, k9 track, accidental discharge

Most Recent Reflection

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The First & The Last

The first to sense the hostility of a suspect,
The first to react to protect his master,
The first to enter where danger lurks,
The first to detect the hidden intruder.
The first to take action against violence.
The first to sense his master’s joy.
The first to know his master’s sorrow or fear.
The first to give his life in defense of his master.
The last to be forgotten by those who work with others like him.
They know him as a “Partner”, not just an animal.

- Author unknown -

Javier Cornejo
Police Officer, Retired
City of Milwaukee Police Department
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

October 19, 2023

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