Funeral Thursday for fallen Gwinnett County K9 Police Officer Eli

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Update from Gwinnett County Police Department

On Thursday, May 30, 2019 the Gwinnett County Police Honor Guard will be conducting a Line of Duty Death Funeral for fallen Gwinnett County  County Police K9 Police Officer Eli in honor of his service to the Gwinnett County Police Department and local residents and to thank him for the eight years of service that he gave to the department and the community.

There will be a police procession from Gwinnett County Police Training Center (854 Winder Highway, Lawrenceville) to the Oak Rest Pet Cemetery (2691 Harbins Road, Bethlehem) where the funeral services will be held. Only police vehicles will be allowed to participate in the procession.  Any officers wanting to participate need to arrive at the Gwinnett Police Training Center no later than 9:00 am. to depart no later than 9:20 a.m. and officers who would like to attend K9 Eli’s funeral are welcome.

Due to limited parking at the cemetery, GCPD advises that citizens who wish to show support for this fallen K9 officer are encouraged to line the procession route in safe locations.  The procession route is from Sweetgum Road SE to Martins Chapel Road to Brooks Road SE to Harbins Road and ending at 2691 Harbins Road.

Update from Gwinnett Police Department

K9 Eli was in the area actively searching for the suspect along with his handler, Officer Matthew Bonanno.  Approximately 30 later, the search was called off.  As K9 Eli and the officers were walking back to their patrol vehicles, Eli fell to the ground and began acting abnormally.

In an effort to cool him down, officers covered his body with water they had on hand.  K9 Eli was conscious as they loaded him into the patrol vehicle.  Officer Bonanno transported him to a local animal hospital for emergency treatment.

During treatment at the animal hospital, K9 Eli stopped breathing.  The veterinarian and staff performed CPR on Eli for about 30 minutes before he ultimately passed away.

The body of K9 Eli is currently at the University of Georgia undergoing a necropsy.  The results of the necropsy will help identify the cause of his death.  Once those results are learned, this Media Release will be updated.

K9 Eli was assigned to the K9 Unit.  The K9 Unit currently consists of 10 dual-purpose dogs.  Four additional canines are assigned to the Parcel Interdiction Unit and the Hazardous Devices Unit.

Video Tribute to Gwinnett County Police K-9 Officer Eli by Gwinnett County Police Department.

Initial Story

(Snellville, Georgia) – Gwinnett County Police suddenly lost one of its beloved police K-9s Thursday in a tragic set of circumstances. 

According to a press release from GCPD, K-9 Officer Eli was assisting in tracking a suspect who had fled from Snellville Police in the area of North Crestview Drive and Grayson Parkway in Grayson. K-9 Eli and his handler, Officer Matthew Bonanno, responded to assist.  About 30 minutes into the track, K-9 Eli began to show heat-related signs of distress. Despite being quickly removed from the scene and taken to a vet, he passed away shortly before 5 p.m. on Thursday.

K-9 Eli was 9 years old and has served the citizens of Gwinnett County for 8 years. 

“We mourn the loss of this courageous K-9 and will provide more details at a later time. Please keep Officer Bonanno and his family in your thoughts,” GCPD said in the press release

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