The St. Clair Shores community laid to rest, Wednesday, a beloved member of its police force, K-9 Axe, a police dog who died in the line of duty 10 days earlier.
A memorial service, complete with law enforcement canines and bagpipes, was held for Axe at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church. The hour-long service occurred three days before the funeral for Theoddeus Gray, a Detroit man who police said shot Axe before officers fatally shot the 29-year-old.
The tragedy has brought together many in the lakeside community, who have adorned their homes and businesses with blue lights in support of Axe and police, and raised questions by others, including Gray’s family, about what happened that night.
The shooting incident remains under investigation by the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office. No dashcam or body camera video, or reports of the incident, have been released.
The memorial for Axe included a table with black cloth holding, among other items, a folded American flag, a badge and collar and a picture of the 4-year-old German shepherd. Law enforcement canines and their handlers filed past the table.
St. Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby said the service was “to honor a fallen hero” that paid “the ultimate sacrifice.” He said Axe pursued a suspect ahead of his human counterparts and may have saved the life of a colleague or bystander.