End of Watch: September 11, 2007
Joplin police officer Gabe Allen said he had no idea what he and his K-9 partner Cezar were in for when they responded to an emergency call in the early morning hours of September 11 at Buffalo Wild Wings.
“The call came in, ‘Unknown trouble at Buffalo Wild Wings, get the cops here now,’”.
Allen and Cezar were the first to arrive on the scene, on the south side of the restaurant at 430 S. Geneva Ave. They took a position to observe the front of the store.
“As I’m standing there with my dog I saw a guy take off across the parking lot to Target. That’s when it occurred to me that this is a robbery.”
Unsure if the suspect was armed, Allen said he yelled for him to stop, and gave chase up Geneva Avenue with Cezar on a leash. When the suspect refused to stop a second time, and instead ran across Seventh Street, Cezar was unleashed.
“When I released the dog, I slowed down a little bit, which is what we do,” he said. “We let the dog make the apprehension, take the fight out of the suspect a little bit.”
As Cezar was about to apprehend the suspect, Allen heard two gunshots ring out. One round struck the dog in the head, stopping him in his tracks.
“It’s hard to put it in words,” Allen said of his reaction to seeing his partner and friend of six years go down. “I wanted to take a shot and defend myself, but the house was the backdrop so I couldn’t take the shot.”
Instead, Allen said he took the dog to cover and tried to keep his eyes open for the suspect, who had fled behind a house.
“I was just talking to him, ‘I love you,’ ‘You’re a good boy,’” he said.
Cezar was taken to Academy Animal Hospital in Joplin, where he underwent surgery, but died that night.
Police eventually apprehended a suspect, Paul C. White, 22, of Joplin, and he was charged with three counts of first-degree robbery, three counts of armed-criminal action, and a single count of killing a police dog