A Unified Police K9 who was shot and killed in the line of duty was honored Monday with a portrait presented by the sister of the man who killed him.
Unified Police Officer Luis Lovato says he’s received more than 1000 letters and gifts from people expressing their sorrow and appreciation since the death of his partner Aldo.
“Aldo when he came to work, he was very, very serious and wanted to work and knew his job,” Lovato says. “But I think the thing that I missed the most is how he was at home. He was a top-shelf police dog at work, but at home he was just a big teddy bear and he was great with my kids. I miss those interactions.”
In April, UPD officers attempted to serve an arrest warrant at a Millcreek home. They were looking for 36-year-old drug suspect David Shane Anderson. Anderson shot and killed UPD K9 Aldo before exchanging gunfire with officers. He later died at a hospital.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder on Monday praised Anderson’s sister Kristina Anderson, for reaching out to UPD after her brother died, offering to create a portrait of Aldo to give to his handler.
“What does a community and what do people do with that kind of sorrow?” Winder asks. “There are many options available. One is anger. One is resentment or blame or frustration. The other is forgiveness and mercy.”
Anderson says she lost her brother to drugs long-before the shootout.
“Ultimately we were just kind of waiting for something terrible to happen,” Anderson says. “Didn’t expect it to be SWAT-standoff terrible. But they’ve been very respectful and great to our family, so it’s the least we can do.”
Aldo, age seven, had served with UPD for five years.
Officer Lovato introduced his new partner Monday, 17-month-old Vigo.