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Officers Pay Respects To Fallen K-9 Aren

WILKINSBURG (KDKA) – Officers paid respects to a K-9 officer that was fatally stabbed Sunday afternoon in Wilkinsburg.

According to police, the incident began around 3:30 p.m. when 37-year-old Bruce Kelley Jr. and his father, 60-year-old Bruce Kelley Sr., got into a fight. Prior to the fight, the two were allegedly drinking in a gazebo at the Hamnett Place bus stop on the East Busway.

According to court documents, Kelley Jr. rushed at the two officers. That's when Kelley Sr., who they later learned was also armed with a knife, allegedly punched one of the officers.

(Photo Courtesy: Allegheny County Jail)

It was during the scuffle that Kelley Jr. ran off and police called for backup in the search for him.

When police found Kelley Jr., authorities say multiple officers tried to use a Taser and subdue him. However, it didn't work because of his heavy jacket.

At that time, K-9 Officer Aren was released and he was stabbed by Kelley Jr. Two officers then shot Kelley Jr., who died at the scene.

Aren was taken to the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty Emergency Center in Ohio Township, where he died. Aren was not wearing a protective vest at the time.

Photo: Officer Down Memorial Page

"It's a horrible thing. I mean, he's a member of that officer's family. He's a member of the law enforcement family and it's a difficult time right now," Port Authority Police Chief Matt Porter said.

"We, and especially the officers that work with these K-9s, consider them part of their family and their partner for every intents and purposes. And they depend on each other every day of their lives," Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charlie Moffat said.

Last night, officers lined the door to the emergency center as Aren was carried out to his partner's car for his final ride.

Aren was a patrol dog with the Port Authority for several years. Many are asking why K-9 Aren was not wearing a protective vest, which is something the Port Authority is looking into.

Monday morning before dawn, flags were lowered at the law enforcement memorial on the North Shore.

"I came to lower the flags in honor of his life and giving his life," Donna Best said.

The officers who fatally shot Kelley Jr. were brought in for questioning at Allegheny County Police headquarters. Their weapons were taken for ballistic checks and they are on administrative leave, per standard protocol.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office says Kelley Jr. died from "multiple gunshot wounds to the trunk and extremities." Allegheny County Police continue to investigate the use of the Taser to subdue him.

(Photo Courtesy: Allegheny County Jail)

As for Kelley Sr., he is facing a list of charges including, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

Bruce Kelley Sr. is being held at the Allegheny County Jail on $300,000 straight cash bond.

Meanwhile, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office will start autopsies today on both K-9 Aren and Bruce Kelley Jr.

Stay with KDKA and for more information.

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