Lifestyle & Human Interest

K-9 Receives Medal of Honor for Extraordinary Heroism After Nearly Taking Bullet


On Jan. 16, 2018, Sgt. Randy Clinton and his K-9 Gabby responded to a domestic violence incident near York County, South Carolina.

Christian McCall, the suspect Clinton and Gabby were tracking, opened fire on them. He hit Officer Clinton twice and fired a third time in their direction.

“I got shot — twice — and I thought the third shot hit Gabby,” Clinton told The Herald. “I thought she was gone. I thought she was dead.”

When Clinton was hit, Gabby was on her own. She could have run off, terrified of the commotion, but the 6-year-old dog who’d known Clinton her entire life wasn’t about to leave his side. He didn’t know that immediately.

“When shots ran out, and Sgt. Clinton was shot, he did a flip,” Sheriff Kevin Tolson recounted. “Sgt. Clinton heard three shots. Sgt. Clinton took two of those shots. Sgt. Clinton thought Gabby had taken that third shot for him.”

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“Gabby actually brought up the rear of the pack and as Sgt. Clinton was being put into the car, Gabby licked him on the cheek,” Tolson told WBTV.

“She licked my face,” Clinton said, “and I knew my girl was alive.”

Clinton wasn’t the only one shot that day. McCall also shot Sgt. Kyle Cummings, Sgt. Buddy Brown and fatally shot Mike Doty, part of the SWAT team that responded.

People who heard about the incident were concerned for the dog, so the sheriff’s office posted a video of her on their Facebook page to prove she was alive and kicking.

“We have received many questions & call about Sgt. Clinton’s Bloodhound Gabby as you can see from this video Gabby is fine and loving a little bit of play time at the K9 Kennels,” the York County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Jan. 23, 2018.

But there was more in store for the lively bloodhound. About a year after the fatal incident, Gabby was awarded with the first Medal of Valor the department has ever given to a four-legged member of their crew.

Gabby seemed a little unsure of the gathering at first, wincing when the medal was placed around her neck and far more interested in the celebratory dog-friendly cake on the table.

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Clinton reportedly returned to work on Jan. 14, and we are sure this duo is happy to be working together again.

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