End of Watch: September 24, 1998
On September 24, 1998, Topeka Police Department, Topeka, KS, K9 Officer Scott Gilchrist and K9 Sevo were enroute to back up and assist another officer on an unwanted guest/disturbance call. While enroute to the location Officer Gilchrist was advised by officers on scene that the suspect had left the scene on foot. A description of the suspect was given to Officer Gilchrist.
Officer Gilchrist continued towards the area of the call and observed the described suspect. When the suspect observed Officer Gilchrist, he quickly turned and quickly began walking in the opposite direction away from the officer. The officers on scene were contacted and it was confirmed that they did want the suspect stopped.
Officer Gilchrist stopped the patrol car and exited with his partner, K9 Sevo, in the heel position. Officer Gilchrist identified himself to the suspect and ordered the suspect to stop. The suspect refused to comply. Officer Gilchrist repeated the order to stop and then observed the suspect make a quick movement to his waist band area of his pants with his hands. With K9 Sevo still at the heel position, Officer Gilchrist drew his service weapon and again ordered the suspect to stop and show his hands.
The suspect did stop, turned quickly and proceeded to rapidly come towards Officer Gilchrist and K9 Sevo carrying a knife in his hand. K9 Sevo was commanded to apprehend the suspect and Officer Gilchrist continued to order the suspect to stop and drop the knife. The suspect did not comply and K9 Sevo apprehended the suspect by the arm. Officer Gilchrist continued to order the suspect to drop the knife and the suspect continued to disregard the order. At this time the suspect grabbed K9 Sevo by the back of the neck, picked him up and then began to stab K9 Sevo in the chest with the knife. The suspect was now between seven and ten feet away from Officer Gilchrist and not stopping. Officer Gilchrist discharged his service weapon twice at the suspect, striking the suspect. The suspect shouted, "I'm shot", yet continued towards Officer Gilchrist. Officer Gilchrist fired a third shot at the suspect and at this time K9 Sevo released the suspect and staggered back to Officer Gilchrist as the fourth shot was fired, stopping the suspect.
K9 Sevo was immediately rushed to the Western Hills Veterinary Clinic with multiple stab wounds while other officers now on scene took the suspect into custody.
Unfortunately for the Topeka Police Department, all brother and sister K9 handlers and especially Officer Scott Gilchrist and his family, K9 Sevo did not recover from his wounds. On December 31, 1998, K9 Sevo lost his fight for life after giving his all to protect Officer Gilchrist from what could have been a fatal situation for the officer. K9 Sevo will be missed by all but never forgotten. His spirit lives on and continues to protect us all.