Hundreds of people gathered at the War Dog Memorial in Riverside on Wednesday for the funeral of a K9 officer named Sultan.
Sultan was killed on duty by a gunshot to the neck when he was chasing an armed man wanted on weapons charges on the 21st of January.
“I know without a doubt Sultan saved my life and several other officer’s lives that day too. He died a hero.”
Officer Mark Wallace
Sultan was a Belgian Malinois-German Shepherd mix who had served on the force since September 2013, coming all the way from Slovakia. Wallace and Sultan were Jacinto’s only K9 team, working primarily in narcotics detection, tracking and apprehension. His partner, Mark Wallace made a heartfelt speech describing his death as “One of the worst days of my life.”
Todd Allen Hodge had been spotted in his neighborhood after he didn’t show up to his arraignment for weapon charges. He ran into his house and into a crawlspace to hide from the approaching police.
Sultan pursued Hodge into the house and followed him into a crawlspace, but Hodge shot him in the neck. Sultan got out of the crawlspace but died later at the vet. A standoff began around 2:30 between Hodge and the police, but a few hours later, they fired tear gas into the crawl space. Hodge emerged wielding a handgun, deputies opened fire, and Hodge was shot dead.
The nearby Cornerstone Christian School was ending classes at 3:00 P.M. but was put on lockdown for roughly two hours.
“I know if it wasn’t Sultan, it would’ve been another dog on our team.”
“I wouldn’t want any other member of our team to go through an experience like this.”