Death Classification: Canine / Equine Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: Length of Service Unknown
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Bureau of Operational Services - Patrol Division, Special Operations Group: Unit 058 - Canine Unit
District of Incident (Present Day): 003 - Grand Crossing
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 9
Date of Birth:
Date of Appointment:
Date of Incident: 03 Dec 1970
End of Watch: 03 Dec 1970
Date of Interment:
Cemetery: Not Interred - Other
Grave Location: Does Not Apply
Interment Disposition: Cremated
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case:
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall:
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall:
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall:
Officer Down Memorial Page: Not Listed
Military Service: Did Not Serve
Incident & Biographic Details
Police Canine KIRK, aged 9 years, was a veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Operational Services – Patrol Division, Special Operations Group: Unit 058 – Canine Unit.
On December 3, 1970, K-9 KIRK and his hander, Patrolman Gerald Burke were on patrol looking for Horace Ruth, 23, who had just robbed a Southside diner. While touring the area, Officer Burke heard a noise and unleashed K-9 KIRK. K-9 KIRK then apprehended Ruth after a rooftop chase in a vacant lot located at 7402 South Dorchester Avenue. When K-9 KIRK caught Ruth he grabbed a hold of Ruth’s upper right leg. It was at this time that Ruth shot K-9 KIRK through the throat. K-9 Kirk screeched in pain and went limp bleeding profusely from his neck. By the time Officer Burke caught up to his partner, he was found laying beside Ruth in the vacant lot. Ruth was also shot in the vacant lot by responding officers and succumbed to his wounds. Ruth’s weapon was not recovered at the scene, however it was believed that Ruth threw the weapon away before he was shot.
Police Canine KIRK was born in 1961.
K-9 KIRK was survived by his handler, Patrolman Gerald Burke.