PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — His name is now mentioned with other fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
A wreath in honor of Rocco, the Pittsburgh Police K-9 officer, was placed at the monument at St. Joseph’s Church honoring fallen Pittsburgh Police Officers Paul Sciullo, Stephen Mayhle and Eric Kelly.
“I think its real nice,” said Dave Davis, of Bloomfield. “They did a wonderful job with it. I hope people come by and see it and think about it.”
Rocco, an 8-year-old German Shepherd, was stabbed Tuesday during a confrontation with fugitive, John Rush.
Mayor Bill Peduto believes Rocco protected other officers during the apprehension.
“Yesterday, I received a text from Officer Scott,” said Mayor Peduto. “In communicating with him, he has some severe injuries that’s going to keep him off the job for six months. And, in that text, he told me officer Rocco saved his life.”
Originally, Rocco’s funeral service at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall on Friday, Feb. 7 was supposed to be closed to the public.
However, due to the overwhelming number of call from people offering support and encouragement, the public is now invited, but seating will be limited.
“I cried the whole news I watched it the other night,” said Cathy Sterling, of Bloomfield. “I’m glad they are going to celebrate his life.”
Before the service, a procession will leave from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Canine Training Academy at 10 a.m. en route to Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Oakland.
Mayor Peduto says officer Rocco will receive full honors. He believes the city has opened its heart to another fallen hero.
“He was literally family to Officer Lerza and his wife. He was also a family member to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and he has now become a family member to all of Pittsburgh.”