Kenosha County K-9 Riggs goes home, shot in head after traffic stop

Kenosha County Sheriff's K-9 Riggs went home Sunday, Oct. 24 after receiving treatment at an Illinois hospital. K-9 Riggs was shot in the head Thursday, Oct. 21. 

It was supposed to be a small gathering with just a handful of deputies on hand to welcome K-9 Riggs home.

"Had no idea that there would be this many," said Jane Herbert.

"It’s totally organic, but again, it just shows how much our community really comes together and rallies," said Kenosha Alderman David Bogdala. "Just shows how much our community is united behind welcoming Riggs back. He saved a lot of people, potentially."

According to officials, deputies were called to a gas station at the corner of State Highway 50 and US 45 in an attempt to find a stolen vehicle that was reportedly involved in a Chicago homicide.

According to Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth, three deputies conducted a high-risk traffic stop, calling out orders to the suspect to put his hands up. The suspect did not follow those orders and took off running. Deputies were heard on body camera video shouting to the suspect to drop his weapon. 

At some point, K-9 Riggs was released and captured the suspect just before running onto State Highway 50 -- while the suspect still had a gun in his hand. Riggs took the suspect to the ground. Unfortunately, Riggs suffered a gunshot wound to the forehead.  

"It will make me really happy to know that he’s still alive, and that he got so lucky and that he’s still here with us," said Ava Ennis.

The support from the community as Riggs went home left his handler emotional.

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"I’m so humbled by it," said Terry Tifft, Riggs' handler. "I’m so emotional right now. I haven’t slept well knowing the dog was 45 minutes away. I could only go and visit him for short periods because they needed him to rest up so he could be released. Every time I left, it was hard. He wanted to come with me."

The two of them are finally together again, back home.

"It’s a miracle," said Tifft. "It is a miracle. The bullet actually traveled around the skull and out the back here."

Let there be no mistake, K-9 Riggs is a hero and a good boy.

"He’s family," said Tifft. "He has always been. He’s family."

Riggs will continue to recover at home and a return to work will be based on his progress over the next few weeks.

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