Memorial service honors slain Wise County police dog

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A public memorial honored the service of a Wise County police dog that was killed in the line of duty.

Dozens of police and sheriff deputies attended the service for Deputy Pepper, a two-year-old Dutch Shepherd that was shot last week by a criminal trying to run away from officers after a police chase.

Wise County sheriff's officials said Pepper is credited with saving the lives of five officers during his service.

"He shielded each of us with his body making it impossible for the suspect's rounds to reach any of us," said Sgt. JT Manoushagian of the Wise County Sheriff's Office. "He did exactly what I asked him to do, exactly what he was trained to do and exactly what we needed him to do. It is because of him and only him that I stand before you today."

The man who killed Deputy Pepper, Alan Alverson, was killed by officers who returned fire.