Police Pack Memorial for K-9 Deputy Killed on Duty

Officers from around North Texas turned packed a memorial Wednesday to pay respect to a Wise County Sheriff’s Department K-9 killed on duty.

Deputy Pepper, a Dutch Shepherd, was shot by a suspect after a manhunt one week ago.

Officers, including K-9s and their handlers from across North Texas, filled Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise for the emotional service.

Pepper's partner talked about the K-9's sacrifice.

"When released and given the command to engage, Pepper did exactly what he was trained to do, he ran in front of us as we held our positions and he looked danger and ultimately death directly in the eyes," said Pepper's partner Sgt. J.T. Manoushagian.

Pepper is credited with saving five officers.

"Pepper's sacrifice ensured that today we can celebrate human life," Manoushagian said. "Pepper's sacrifice ensured there is not a newlywed widow sitting on the front row of this church, his sacrifice ensured that none of these officers children were left without father, no mothers without sons no colleagues without a brother."

Police from several agencies pursued Alan Alverson to Wise County after he failed to stop for police in Bowie.

Wise County Sheriff David Walker said Alverson, 49, bailed out of his vehicle, ran into a wooded area.

Pepper led officers into the woods to find the suspect hiding under a pile of leaves, Walker said after Alverson shot Pepper, officers returned fire killing Alverson.

Pepper had only been on duty a few weeks after completing months of training.

Another K9 officer is on duty in Wise County and there are plans to replace Pepper.

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