K-9 killed protecting officer and inmate who was attacked by prisoners, Virginia officials say

Apr 4, 2024, 8:47 AM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A K-9 was killed “heroically” protecting a correctional officer, who was responding to a violent attack involving apparent gang members, Virginia prison officials said.

Rivan, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, died despite life-saving measures after being “violently and repeatedly stabbed and kicked” by the inmates involved in the assault, the Virginia Department of Corrections said in a news release Wednesday.

Three inmates affiliated with the MS-13 gang attacked another inmate Tuesday inside a housing unit at the Sussex I State Prison, with another inmate appearing to supervise the assault, the department said. Corrections Officer Kharmishia Phillip Fields and Rivan, her assigned K-9, were working in the area and responded to stop the attack and protect the inmates, the department said in a news release.

Rivan sustained injuries but Phillip Fields, a four-year veteran of the department, did not, “due to her training and Rivan’s courageous actions,” the news release said. Corrections officers ended the assault, and the inmate who was attacked was treated for injuries at a hospital and returned to the prison, according to the department.

“The loss of Rivan is truly tragic, but it is important to remember he did not die in vain,” Virginia Department of Corrections Director Chad Dotson said in a statement. “He lost his life while potentially saving the lives of two people, his assigned Officer and an inmate. The VADOC will never forget Rivan’s sacrifice.”

The department’s statement did not identify the inmates who were involved by name but said at least three were verified members of MS-13. All four were in the U.S. illegally when they were arrested and convicted, the department said.

They had been incarcerated on charges ranging from first-degree homicide to attempted rape and counts related to child sexual abuse images.

The department said it intended to seek prosecution of the inmates to the fullest extent of the law and that no further details would be provided amid an investigation.

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin said on social media that the “barbaric members of MS-13 will be held accountable.”

Rivan would have turned 6 on April 30 and had been with the department since 2019. A memorial service is being planned.

United States News


Associated Press

Alito rejects calls to quit Supreme Court cases on Trump and Jan. 6 because of flag controversies

Justice Samuel Alito is rejecting calls to step aside from Supreme Court cases involving former President Donald Trump and Jan. 6 defendants, saying his wife hoisted the two controversial flags that flew above their homes.

16 minutes ago


Associated Press

Nissan warns owners of older vehicles about risk of exploding air bag inflators

Nissan is urging the owners of about 84,000 older vehicles to stop driving them because their Takata air bag inflators have an increased risk of exploding in a crash and hurling dangerous metal fragments.

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Seattle police chief dismissed from top job amid discrimination, harassment lawsuits

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s embattled police chief has been dismissed, Mayor Bruce Harrel said Wednesday. Harrell said at a news conference that he met with Police Chief Adrian Diaz on Tuesday and they agreed Diaz should step down. He will work on special assignments for the mayor with the police department, Harrell said. Diaz’s departure […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Disneyland performers’ vote to unionize is certified by federal labor officials

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Character and parade performers at Disneyland in California are officially unionized. Federal labor officials said Wednesday that they’ve certified the results of a three-day election that took place earlier this month in Anaheim. Actors’ Equity Association will represent roughly 1,700 performers and assistants who help bring Disney’s popular characters to life […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Michigan willing to spend millions to restore Flint properties ripped up by pipe replacement

DETROIT (AP) — The state of Michigan said it’s willing to step in and oversee property repairs at 1,900 homes in Flint where water pipes have been inspected or replaced but the grounds remain a mess. The city in March was found in civil contempt by a judge after blowing past deadlines to get the […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Massachusetts fugitive dubbed the ‘bad breath rapist’ captured in California after 16 years at large

DANVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A fugitive dubbed the “bad breath rapist” has been arrested in the San Francisco Bay Area more than 16 years after he fled following his conviction for sexually assaulting a coworker in Massachusetts, authorities said this week. Tuen Kit Lee was found guilty at a 2007 trial of the kidnapping and […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

K-9 killed protecting officer and inmate who was attacked by prisoners, Virginia officials say