Heroic K-9 killed by incarcerated MS-13 members, Virginia Department of Corrections says

A 5-year-old K-9 passed away due to injuries sustained in the line of duty, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections, which reported that Corrections Officer Kharmishia Phillip Fields and the dog responded when inmates tied to MS-13 assaulted another prisoner.

The Belgian Malinois named Rivian passed away after being “repeatedly stabbed and kicked,” VADOC noted.

“On Tuesday, April 2, three inmates affiliated with the MS-13 gang who are housed at Sussex I State Prison viciously attacked another inmate within one of the facility’s housing units. A fourth inmate appeared to be supervising the brutal assault,” VADOC noted. “Rivan was violently and repeatedly stabbed and kicked by the inmates and later tragically died at the facility while VADOC staff attempted lifesaving measures.

“Officer Phillip Fields, a trained K-9 handler and 4-year veteran of the Department, sustained no serious injuries due to her training and Rivan’s courageous actions. Order was restored by Officer Phillip Fields, responding Corrections Officers, and Rivan’s actions. The attacked inmate was transported to a local hospital for injuries sustained in the attack and was later returned to the facility,” VADOC noted.

The department indicated that that the inmates involved in the assault had been in the country unlawfully when they were arrested.

“The inmates involved in the malicious attack are from El Salvador and Guatemala and at least three are verified members of MS-13. The Department has confirmed that all four of the inmates were in the United States illegally at the time of their arrest and conviction. The inmates are incarcerated for several charges, including first degree homicide, attempted rape, kidnapping/abduction, malicious wounding, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, child pornography charges, grand larceny, and possession of a Schedule III Drug. The Virginia Department of Corrections intends to pursue prosecution of these inmates to the fullest extent of the law,” VADOC noted.

The animal would have been 6 years old at the end of this month, according to VADOC, which noted that the dog’s “father worked for a police department in Southwest Virginia and his mother worked for the United States Secret Service.”

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a tweet, “God bless Rivan, a heroic K-9 who was killed in the line of duty in Virginia. These barbaric members of MS-13 will be held accountable.”

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