We all hate to see our kids and animals in pain. Watching helplessly when someone you love is hurting must be one of the worst moments possible.
That moment is made even worse if you know that your loved one is feeling pain because of something you did. Or because of something, he did to help you.
We’ve all cried along with the owners of dogs that were killed or injured trying to save their owner’s life. We can’t imagine how terrible it must be to be in that place.
Cpl. John Sylvester of the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office learned firsthand exactly how terrible the situation can be. His K9 partner, 4-year-old German Shepherd Casper, recently took a bullet that was meant for him.
The day had started out much like usual. They had answered a few non-violent calls and they were enjoying the quiet of the wee hours.
When they got the call at 4:00 a.m. about a robbery at Duggans Pub, it seemed like just another call. But it wasn’t.
When they got to Duggans, they were told that the robber had fled when he saw deputy cars arriving. The victim fingered the perp as Phillip O’Shea. A man well-known to everyone in the law community because of his lengthy criminal record.
Deputies, including Cpl. Sylvester and Caspar followed leads that took them to the town of Jupiter, hot on O’Shea’s heels.
You’d think that being faced with a group of men with guns that were determined to hunt you down might make O’Shea go peacefully. But, he didn’t.
He raced away from the officers. Beginning in what ended as a deadly shootout just off Okeechobee Boulevard.
O’Shea crashed the vehicle he was using to flee from the deputies. The desperate criminal then began firing his weapon. The deputies responded in self-defense.
O’Shea managed to escape in a stolen car, despite the odds against him. This just made the officers even more intent on bringing him in.
They followed him to a corner of a Jupiter parking lot off of Military Trail. Mitch Baker lives nearby and saw the whole thing go down.
“They were talking to him over the PA system. ‘Hey Phillip, come on out. Talk to us. It doesn’t have to go this way,‘” Baker says. “They did everything within reason that they could to reach the guy.”
Deputies say O’Shea had a handgun gun in his hand, the same one from the morning. He refused to put it down, instead aiming it at the officers and firing. Officers returned fire, again in self-defense.
In the middle of the gunfight, Cpl Sylvester heard a sound that chilled his heart. Caspar had howled in agony.
Cpl. Sylvester immediately realized that Caspar had taken a bullet that O’Shea had aimed at him. Nobody knows whose bullet actually took down O’Shea, but Cpl. Sylvester can’t help now but hope it was one from his gun.
He didn’t have time to think of revenge just then though. The worried cop immediately began searching Casper’s fur to see where he had been shot. He found an entrance hole on his hip.
Despite having just proved his bravery, Casper was now whimpering in fear and pain. Cpl. Sylvester didn’t take time to follow any protocol that might have been in place.
He simply did what any good pet owner does when their pet is hurt. He gathered him up in his arms, put him in his car and sped away to the nearest vet.
“I was a little upset. A little rage, but I kept my composure and got him in the car and took him to the vet,” said Sylvester. “We were checking everybody to make sure they were okay. We checked him and saw that there was a little blood coming out of his leg and then found the bullet hole.”
Xrays showed that the bullet could be removed with doing further damage. So, Casper underwent emergency surgery at Palm Beach Veterinary Specialists to remove the bullet from his left hip. Fortunately, the bullet had missed all vital organs.
The veterinarians reassured a very concerned Cpl. Sylvester that Casper would make a full recovery. It appears that they were right.
A somewhat wobbly Casper said hello to a very relieved Cpl. Sylvester just hours after surgery.
Casper is now recovering nicely. “He’s on antibiotics and is walking fairly well, all things considered,” said Michele Tucker, the veterinary center’s managing director.
O’Shea was not so lucky. He died from his wounds in an area hospital.
“This very dangerous individual is off the streets,” announced Sheriff Bradshaw.
Although we hate when any story ends in death, we are grateful that he will no longer be a threat to other citizens or officers (human or K9) in the future.
We send up heartfelt thanks to Casper for doing the job he was trained to do. Even risking his own life to do so. We hope he and Cpl. Sylvester will be back on the road again together soon. Protecting and serving those they are pledged to defend.
Best wishes to both of you!
Source: NTD News