Dozens of officers gathered downtown on Thursday morning for a procession to honour a Toronto police dog who was shot and killed in the line of duty earlier this week.
The dog’s handler, Sgt. Brandon Smith, and his family were joined by members of the Emergency Task Force, the Motor Squad, and Toronto Dog Services for a procession for Bingo, a two-year-old German Sheppard who police say was killed while tracking a suspect in Etobicoke on Tuesday night.
Members of the mounted unit lined the street outside an emergency vet clinic near Yonge and Davenport streets at around 7:30 a.m. Onlookers saluted as a group of uniformed officers brought Bingo out of the clinic to a waiting vehicle.
Flags outside Toronto police headquarters and other police facilities across the city were lowered in honour of the dog.
Bingo will be transported to Guelph University for end of life veterinary services.
A procession was held on Thursday morning for Bingo, a Toronto police dog killed in the line of duty on Tuesday night.
A spokesperson for the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) told reporters Wednesday that police attended an apartment building in the area of Dixon Road and Kipling Avenue around 8 p.m. to locate and arrest a suspect for second-degree murder.
Shortly after they arrived, the SIU said, the suspect shot at officers, who did not return fire. The suspect, a 44-year-old man, fled and was later located in the backyard of a home on Kingsview Boulevard, the SIU added.
At some point during the interaction, Bingo was shot and killed and an officer shot and wounded the suspect, according to the SIU. The man was taken to hospital for treatment and the SIU is now investigating the circumstances surrounding the officer-involved shooting.
Police confirmed that the suspect will be charged with second-degree murder in connection with a deadly shooting on The Queensway earlier this week.
Speaking to reporters at an unrelated news conference on Wednesday, Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw said Bingo joined the police service in 2022 and he and Sgt. Smith had been on the job together for about six months.
“I think it is important to acknowledge there is a unique bond between a police dog handler and their dog,” Demkiw said.
“They work together for many, many weeks in their training and they are bonded from an early age with that dog, they live with those dogs and they become part of their immediate family.”
He said the K9 unit plays an “incredibly important” role in community safety and wellbeing.
“They provide an additional resource to our officers to help keep communities safe, whether it is tracking a suspect, apprehending a suspect, locating evidence – sometimes that evidence is incredibly dangerous,” Demkiw said.
“Bingo had successfully made a number of apprehensions, helping to keep our community safe.”
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