Remembering the Life of Fallen K9 Officer Haas

Officers and community members honor the life of fallen K9 officer Haas.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Duluth community mourns the loss of one of their own with a memorial service for fallen K9 Officer Haas.

Friday afternoon, the DECC’s Harborside Ballroom filled to the brim with officers from across the state, was somber. But the story shared about a hero gave a glimmer of hope to the mourning community.

“Family, friends, colleagues and community, we thank all our K9 partners who perform their duties reliably and with and with great loyalty. We are particularly grateful today for Haas who gave his life in the line of duty. Thus, protecting his partner Aaron and his other fellow officers.”

Honor, hope, humility, Haas- the 4 H’s ringing in the Northland’s ears as officers and the community remembered a fallen K9 member of their family. But only one H-word to sum up what he will be remembered as– hero.

“I sent my partner to what ended up being his death, and he did it enthusiastically and without hesitation,” officer Aaron Haller said.

Through tears, a moving testimony delivered by Haller who was shot in the same response to a domestic violence call his K9 partner Haas was killed in.

“When the investigation continues and more details released, I think it will be obvious to everyone that had Haas no done when he did that night, we’d likely be at a human police officer’s funeral or multiple police officer’s funerals,” Haller said.

Alongside officer Haller, a presentation of colors and a moving ceremony dedicated to the life of man’s best friend.

“We honor the dedicated service of our K9 partner Haas, his actions, his countless hours of training to save the lives of police officers that night, there’s no question about it.” Duluth police chief Mike Tusken said.

Tusken spoke beyond the accomplishments of K9 Haas. He spoke on behalf of the community, speechless at the outpouring of support he says he’s seen in the 12 days following the tragedy.

“There is not a Duluth police officer in this room or in this organization or anyone in this police department sworn in civilian that doesn’t realize now and today that we were and is tremendously valued by this community,” Tusken said.

Tusken prayed for peace for Haas’ family and for the family of Taylor Turek, the 27-year-old suspect who took his own life the night of the shooting. He prayed for the hope that another service for a fallen officer does not happen in Duluth again.

“The last thing I want to say regarding my feelings of sadness for Haas’ death, they’ve slowly but surely been turning into feelings of gratefulness. He’s an absolute warrior of a dog that died a hero’s death, giving his life so that his partners had a significantly better chance of making it out there alive. I’ll forever be grateful to him for that and never forget the second chance he gave my partners and me,” Haller said.

The Duluth police department is currently looking for a replacement for K9 Haas.

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