WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A South Florida K-9 deputy killed in the line of duty during a Christmas Eve shooting received full law enforcement honors during a memorial service Thursday morning.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers and first responders gathered at the public memorial for Cigo at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach.
Cigo was fatally shot at the Mall at Wellington Green, where deputies tracked two suspects wanted for attempted first-degree murder. One suspect, Giovany Ramos Alvarez, opened fire, mortally wounding the 3-year-old German shepherd.
Deputies returned fire and wounded Alvarez. The 28-year-old suspect was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
The second suspect, Justin Vazquez, 19, was being held without bond at the main Palm Beach County jail.
"If it hadn't been for Cigo doing his job, we might have had two deputies killed," Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said.
Cigo was honored in the same manner traditionally afforded deputies who are killed on the job. That included a police motorcade that delivered Cigo's body to the service, a 21-gun salute and an "end of watch call." Cigo also received a medal of honor.
Dozens of K-9 deputies and their handlers watched the ceremony from a grassy knoll outside the venue.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is collecting donations in Cigo's memory.