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Duluth community rallies behind law enforcement to honor the fallen K9

k9 luna procession 3

DULUTH, MN -- The Duluth Police Department continues to grieve the loss of K9 Luna, who died in the line of duty Thursday night while police responded to an active standoff situation in Lincoln Park.

The community gathered Saturday morning for a procession to pay their respects for the K9 and her handler.

"She was great with what she did," Duluth Police K9 Handler Officer Jeremy O'Connor said. "She was also super friendly. I've seen her in the community. Just a great asset to the police department."

Duluth Police Public Information Officer Ingrid Hornibrook said a loss like this impacts the entire department.

"A procession like this is as much to honor K9 Luna but to also bring all law enforcement together and be together during a time of deep sorrow," Hornibrook said.

The procession began at the emergency pet hospital in Lincoln Park where Luna passed away.

The emotional display showed the bond between K9 and handler.

"You work together," O'Connor said. "You're at home together. It's just a special bond. I can't imagine Officer Haller and what he has to go through."

The public lined the route to show their support.

Brothers Beau and Maddux Mitchell attended the procession with their mother and made signs for the fallen K9.

"'Fur-Officer K9 Luna', and his says 'Fur-Officer K9 Haas,'" Maddux said.

Luna's handler Officer Aaron Haller also lost his former partner, K9 Haas.

Haas also died in the line of duty just over two years ago.

A grieving department and a supportive community both remember the loss.

"I felt kind of good because there are so many people that came to support this, and I felt good for myself that I was part of this," Maddux said.

The procession ended in Scanlon, about 20 miles east of Duluth, where law enforcement said their final goodbyes to the K9 who sacrificed so much.

"I wish them the best time in heaven though," Maddux said.

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Kendall Jarboe

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