“There’s a special place in our hearts for working K9’s, whether they serve in the military, as a Police officer, with Search and Rescue, or in any other capacity. There’s also a special place in hell for someone who would take the life of these incredible heroes.
“Officer Major, a Franklin County Sheriff’s Department K9 from Oxford North Carolina, died in the line of duty this last week while trying to apprehend an armed robbery suspect.
“The suspect, 21-year-old William Darius Eichelberger, was being hunted for allegedly stealing a car at gunpoint. Local law enforcement located the vehicle later in the day, but Eichelberger was nowhere to be found.
“The next day, Officers responded to a suspicious fire and ended up locating Eichelberger in a crawlspace of the burning residence. K9 Officer Major was brought in as part of a specialized team to search the confined space and apprehend the suspect.
“As the Officers moved in, Eichelberger opened fire. Major was fatally wounded in the ensuing gunfight.
“Major’s fellow Officers returned fire, but Eichelberger was not hit, likely because of his position of cover. No other Law Enforcement personnel were injured.”