K-9 Officer Kuno
Source: K9 Kuno photo courtesy of Lake Michigan Police K9 Association; Jacob Bender screenshot via YouTube

When police responded to a domestic violence call, they couldn’t have known a man would stab their K-9 officer Kuno three times. 

The police dog, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois, is on the mend while the man is now dead after being shot by a deputy.

Now, the man’s family is speaking out and actually thanking the police officer for doing his job.

The deputy first tased 39-year-old Jacob Bender in attempt to stop him from attacking. However, that didn’t affect Bender and he continued assaulting police after first stabbing K-9 Kuno. 

K-9 Kuno Is Expected To Recover

When they arrived at the home in Gobles, Michigan, they spoke with the woman who called and learned the suspect was in the crawl space, reports said.

He was holed up and refused to come out, so police sent K-9 Kuno in after him. That decision almost cost Kuno his life.

Bender was tased, but his reaction was not normal.

He came out of the crawl space and charged at police with his knife. One of the deputies shot the man and he died. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s deputy is on leave, which is standard procedure.

The police dog, who has been on the force for four years, is expected to recover after having surgery. 

“The subject was tased to no avail,” Sheriff Abbott said. “The subject still did have the knife in his possession, did not go by verbal commands, and unfortunately, the deputies ended up using lethal force once they were confronted with a subject with a knife coming at them.”

Police were called to Bender’s home 19 times in the past year, mostly for domestic violence.

Still, his neighbor was surprised at the outcome of Monday’s night’s shooting. 

“He seemed like a nice person so it was a shock,” neighbor Jill Szotek said. “I just hope the community and town can heal.”

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Bender’s Family Not Surprised

Jacob Bender’s family was not as kind. His cousin Ashley Cousins was brutal and honest about what the dead man’s kin thought of him. The family didn’t have a close relationship with him because of the way he lived his life.

“I knew that things were going to go in a bad direction, a negative direction,” said Cousins.

“It was bound to end at some point. This was a bit much,” she continued. “Everyone is aware of it. Everybody is a little flabbergasted as to what happened and how it happened. Oddly enough, not surprised.” She also claimed she supports law enforcement.

“On behalf of our family, we say thank you for being there. We’re sorry for the K9 officer who got hurt,” Cousins said.

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K-9 office Kuno is currently recovering at home with his handler.