K-9 Officer gave his life for his handler

Pittsburgh K-9 Rocco's Death 'Great Loss for City'
Pittsburgh K-9 Rocco's Death 'Great Loss for City'

With an American flag draped over his coffin, Pittsburgh police K-9 Officer Rocco received full police honors Thursday night as his body was escorted out of the veterinary clinic where he bravely battled severe injuries over the past two days.

'They have a heavy heart. They lost a colleague. Officer (Phil) Lerza lost a member of his family,' Pittsburgh Police Cmdr. Eric Holmes told WTAE.

The K-9 Officer credited with saving his handler and other police officers has passed away after being stabbed in the field.

'He died saving his fellow members and he lived serving all of us,' said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at all city buildings in honor of Rocco.

'He fought hard for almost two days straight. He fought as hard here as he fought out on the field. It was a great loss for the city of Pittsburgh,' said Dr. Julie Compton, who treated Rocco. 'If you were to wander around this hospital, there wouldn't be one dry eye in this hospital.'

Rocco's handler brought him into the hospital before he even stopped to get himself checked out.