Charleston, W. VA – Over the weekend, a K9 with the Charleston, WV Police Department was fatally shot by a wanted man. On Sunday, the police department announced the death of K9 Axel, writing:
Our K9 officer “Axel”, gave his life protecting his handler and other CPD officers while apprehending an armed fleeing felon .. Thank You Axel for your dedicated service and this heroic act .. Prayers for his handler and all of our CPD family 🖤💙
Axel was working with his partner, Ptl. Josh Clendenin, when 50-year-old Samuel Paul Ranson shot the dog at close range. Charleston police officers returned fire, killing Ranson, a man with an active warrant for malicious wounding in a stabbing earlier this month.
Clendenin’s wife, Hanna, mournfully acknowledged Axel’s death in a touching social media post, writing in part:
Last night I got a phone call that made my heart fall out of my chest. Last night my husband’s K9 Partner was killed in the Line of Duty, saving the life of my husband and other Officers. I thank God that Josh is safe, and my children still have their father and I my husband, but my heart is shattered by the fact our Axel is gone. Each shift before my husband and Axel left for work I’d spend a few minutes with Axel and I’d always say to him, “Be a good boy. Mommy loves you, take care of Dad for me. Watch out for him and protect him.”
Flags were ordered to half-staff in the city of Charleston and Kanawha County. On Sunday, dozens of area police officers gathered to honor K-9 Axel with a touching procession as his body was transferred to Cooke Funeral Home and Crematoriums.
Rest in peace Axel.