As we head into the month of June, we mourn with the Wake County Sheriff's Office of their loss of K9 Santos, just months after the loss of K9 Deputy Ned Byrd. On May 26th at approximately 12:30 am, K9 Santos and his handler responded to a call to assist Knightdale Police Department in locating a suspect. During the search, Santos was accidentally shot by a Knightdale Police Officer and succumbed to his injuries despite emergency vet treatment. Santos has served Wake County since 2016 and was the longest serving K9 for the Department.
Please keep K9 Santos’ handler and the Wake County Sheriff’s Office in your thoughts and prayers. If you would like to assist the Wake County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit please donate through our GoFundMe at https://www.gofundme.com/f/benefit-for-fallen-k9-santos-of-wake-co-so
100% of donations made will be given to the Wake Co. SO K9 for the purchase of a new K9, equipment, or however they see fit to successfully and safely perform their duties. Every dollar and share counts!
May started out rough with the news of the escape of Alder Marin-Sotelo from Piedmont Regional Jail in Virginia, where he was being held as a suspect in the murder of Wake County K9 Deputy Ned Byrd.
The sister of Alder, Adriana Marin-Sotelo, is accused of assisting in his escape and was arrested May 2nd after federal authorities described an elaborate plan that included the purchase of a getaway car. Federal court records spell out how authorities believe Adriana Marin-Sotelo bought a red Ford Mustang and paid someone $2,500 to leave it in the Piedmont Regional Jail parking lot. Surveillance cameras appear to show Alder Marin-Sotelo, 26, using the car to escape from the jail.
Thankfully, by May 4th he was taken back into custody after being located in Mexico.
On May 4th we had more good news when the NCDOT formally adopted a resolution to name the Knightdale Blvd bridge over I-540 in honor of Officer Ryan Hayworth's memory and service (see the resolution below). This is a wonderful step forward in memorializing the sacrifice and legacy of Ofc. Hayworth (EOW 10/17/2021).
On May 5th Officer Daniel Allen and his K9, Halligan, of the Oxford NC police department, were both injured when responding to an active shooter incident. Halligan was struck several times while inside his handler’s vehicle and required extensive surgeries to remove shrapnel and repair organs. We are happy to report that both Ofc. All and K9 Halligan are doing good, but still have a long road to recovery ahead.
Tragically, on May 8th Chapel Hill Police Officer Mike Mineer died in an off-duty vehicle crash in Chatham County. Ofc. Mineer was described as a "dedicated family man and a caring colleague." He was a 19-year veteran of the Chapel Hill Police Department, most recently serving in the Patrol division.
On May 10th several members of Back The Blue NC attended the sixth annual Garner Local Heroes breakfast. Six local first responders were recognized for their heroic contributions over the last year. The family of Deputy Ned Byrd and Officer Gabriel Torres were also in attendance and were presented memorial garden stones in honor of their loved ones. It was a beautiful service to honor those who keep Wake County safe and to uphold the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
May 12th started Police Week in Washington, D.C. which is hosted every year by the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. During Police Week the The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum held multiple ceremonies, including the 35th Annual Candlelight Vigil, to honor the fallen officers whose names have recently been added to the Memorial.
We would like to thank everyone who contributed to our fundraiser to send additional Wake County K9 Deputies to Police Week in DC. We are happy to announce that because of your generosity were able to send an additional six Deputies to honor their fallen brother Deputy Ned Byrd.
On May 15th members of Back The Blue NC attended the annual Wake County Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony to pay their respects to the fallen. Various agencies which serve Wake County, community members, and family members joined to honor and remember fallen officers, deputies, and troopers and their sacrifice to our community.
Remembered in the ceremony include Officer Ryan Hayworth (Knightdale Police Department, EOW 10/17/2021), Deputy Ned Byrd (Wake County Sheriff’s Office, EOW 08/11/2022), and Officer Gabriel Torres (Raleigh Police Department, EOW 10/13/2022).
Agencies present included; Raleigh Police Department, Wake County Sheriff's Office, Wake Forest Police Department, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Morrisville Police Department, and Knightdale Police Department.
If you would like to assist us in supporting the children and families of Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty you can join our 10-33 Assistance Program at www.backthebluenc.org/1033 to subscribe as a monthly donor. For as little as 34 cents a day you can help make a difference in our community. 100% of your donation goes to assist the families of the fallen.