A very brave police dog, who rushed into action to save his handler at the cost of his own life, will have a second life in bronze outside the Braintree Police Department.
The monument was unveiled Thursday during a ceremony in which the department also rededicated its Officers Memorial.
“I think that we need to thank all the police officers that serve every day, day in, day out, when people are home in their beds. They serve all night long. They’re serving on weekends, holidays,” Braintree Police Chief Timothy Cohoon said during the ceremony. “We’re going to thank today a beloved police dog who if not for Kitt, it could have been a dramatically different day on June 4th, 2021.”
That’s the day the K-9 named Kitt, who according to the department had served for 12 years, was shot dead by a suspect of domestic violence. Her handler, Officer Bill Cushing as well as another officer, Richard Seibert, were also shot by the suspect, Andrew Homan, before a third officer, Matthew Donoghue, was able to take Homan out.
That officer was cleared in a Norfolk DA investigation into the shooting. The investigative summary provided details of the tragic day:
Police had received a call at around 12:45 p.m. that day by the domestic violence victim, who told arriving officers that she had been subjected to physical and verbal assaults over a 24-hour period and that Homan had even pointed one of his pistols at her the day before. Surveillance footage showed police Homan had run off into the abutting woods prior to their arrival and so the three officers and Kitt set off on his trail.
Kitt had located Homan’s scent and they soon found the armed man, who according to the DA did not obey commands to put his weapons down but instead fired, injuring Cushing and ending Kitt’s life.
The department that evening would write a short memorial to Kitt that night: “We will forever miss you buddy.”
Cushing, Donoghue and Seibert were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Trooper George L. Hanna Memorial Award for Bravery ceremony held last November for their actions that night.
“Send special blessings upon those unique officers who are partnered with their K-9 officers. Those K-9s are not only partners with these officers but … come into their homes, they’re part of their family,” Father Sean Connor of Braintree’s Our Lady Queen of Peace said during the convocation. “Our nation, our world is suffering from a lack of peace. So send your blessing on these peace officers, watch over the work they do and help us to support them, not only in word but in deed.”
People check out the Braintree Police Department’s memorial for K-9 Kitt. (Matt Stone/Boston Herald)
Matt Stone/Boston Herald