January 30th was a sad day for the Pittsburgh Police Department. Flags were lowered to half staff, tears were shed by the entire community, and officer Phil Lerza’s heart was broken. His partner, who happened to have four legs, had been killed in the line of duty.
The loss of this hard working German Shepherd was no different than the loss of any other police officer that offered his life to protect his community. John L. Rush, a convicted sex offender, stabbed Rocco during an attempted arrest by the police. He also injured two other human police offers while resisting arrest.
After a hard fight at the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center in Ohio Township, Rocco’s body was carried out on a gurney covered with an American flag. A few days later, he was honored at a standing room only funeral service.
During his career, the 8-year-old Rocco had found 18 explosives and discarded guns. While he had worn a protective vest some days, they weren’t used in every situation.
John L. Rush’s is being held on 1 million bail.
R.I.P. dear Rocco. Your work was admired by more than those fortunate enough to have known you.
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