Police dog is killed in the mall shooting inspires Florida boy pen letter of condolence to sheriff deputy

Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office K-9 Officer Cigo sacrificed his life to save his fellow officers during a christmas Eve shoot on Monday. A Florida boy with the name Ryan wrote a letter shared on Thursday by the deputy to whom Cigo belonged.
(Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office)

A Florida boy wrote a touching letter of condolence this week to the deputy who lost his K9 during a christmas Eve shootout when the heroic dog died while saving the two deputies’ lives — and officials have shared in the note online.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office posted the letter from the boy, who only as a “Cooper.” It was addressed to “the Deputy Ryan,” handler, the 3-year-old K9 called Cigo, and a story of the mother of the boy.

They sent the letter to the sheriff’s office, says her son cried upon learning that Cigo had died during the Monday disturbance in the Mall at Wellington Green, in which two suspects were arrested, the Orlando Sentinel reported.


Cooper told his mother that the losses of Cigo was as the deputy-the loss of his “buddy” and “now he is not on his ‘buddy’ more’, ” the mother said, according to the post. The next morning, Cooper decided to write the letter.

“Dear Deputy Ryan, I am sorry that your dog got a shot thank you for keeping me safe thank you for your service,” the letter read. “Your dog has a lote (sic) for the world.”

In the mall on Monday, two police officers were looking for two suspects wanted on warrants for attempted first-degree murder and robbery with a firearm, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Barbara Therese said.

A suspect, identified as Giovany Alvarez, 28, tried to walk off after delegates a secure environment of the shopping mall parking lot in an attempt to understand the suspects at the exit of the shopping center, the spokeswoman said.

Cigo haunted Alvarez, who fired multiple times, striking the dog, officials told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The two deputies returned fire, injuring the suspect.

The second suspect, identified as Justin Vazquez, 19, surrendered immediately, authorities said.


Alvarez was Tuesday admitted to a hospital in serious condition, Barbera said.

“Keep the arrest of the bad guys and one day I hope I meet you and your new dog!!” Cooper wrote to Ryan.

Officials revealed that Cooper sent a letter to the Deputy Ryan, and said he was “really moved” by the boy’s gesture and “price,” according to the sheriff’s office.

As for Cigo, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said the dog, “did his job and gave his life to save and protect our own.”

The dog was treated at a veterinary emergency center after the shooting, but died during the operation, the Miami Herald reported.

The mall’s operators made a memorial for the Cigo in the parking lot. The sheriff’s office plans a memorial service for the dog on Jan. 10.

“You left your paw prints on our hearts forever,” the sheriff’s office said in an online tribute to Cigo.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular