Local shop owner honors K9 Hondo legacy with touching casket


HERRIMAN, Utah (ABC4 News) – The team at a Salt Lake City garage, RawTin is sharing their talents in a touching way after the passing of K9 Hondo, with the Herriman City Police Department. 

K9 Hondo, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, was assisting the United States Marshal Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team locate a parole fugitive suspect on February 13, 2020, when he was shot and killed.

To read more about the initial incident click here. 

When the suspect was found officers had Hondo try and stop him. Police say the suspect pulled out a gun and officers fired their weapons. 

The suspect and Hondo both died from gunshot wounds, police say. 

Following the tragic passing of K9 Hondo, RawTin Garage owner John Ward knew exactly how to help. 

Ward says his teams’ relationship with Herriman City PD started when he and his team painted the bikes for Herriman City officers. 

“We’ve had that relationship for the last year. We’ve done different things, we’ve done different rides and just built that relationship–so it was a natural thing for them to reach out and ask if we could do something special to memorialize Hondo.” 

He says it was less than 24 hours from the time they got the casket to when Herriman City picked it up. 

He says his team had to quickly decide on a design for the casket and says the Herriman PD logos were an obvious choice but addition of  Hondo’s portrait was special. He says looking back couldn’t be happier with how it’s impacted the community. 

“It really has given them the opportunity…ourselves, the community—everyone around an opportunity to mourn and to celebrate his life.”

 And says creating something physical for people to celebrate has been amazing. 

“He truly is a hero, I mean he truly gave his life and he deserves full honors–he deserves that. I think we did what anybody would do. We have a specific talent and we were grateful that we were able to share that.”

Services for Hondo are planned for Saturday, February 29 at 11 a.m. at Herriman High School located at 11917 S. Mustang Trail Way. Following the service, there will be a police procession through Herriman City to honor Hondo.

The public is invited to attend the services. Those attending are asked NOT to bring pets or other animals. Only police service dogs will be allowed to participate in the services.

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