Washington Man Gets 64 Years for Killing Gang Rival and Police K-9

The next day when Tacoma Police Department officers were looking for Dyrell Swinson, he fired at three officers and a K-9 named Ronja.

Tacoma Police K-9 Ronja was killed by a gang member in 2020.Tacoma Police K-9 Ronja was killed by a gang member in 2020.Tacoma PD/Facebook

A man who killed a fellow gang member out of jealousy in 2020 and fatally shot a Tacoma, Washington, police dog the next day has been sentenced to more than 64 years in prison.

Dyrell Swinson, 31, was accused of fatally shooting 28-year-old Jake Red on Aug. 12, 2020. He was reportedly suspicious that Red was romantically involved with the mother of Swinson’s children, charging documents show, the News Tribune reports.

The next day when Tacoma Police Department officers were looking for Swinson, he fired at three officers and a K-9 named Ronja. The police dog’s handler was struck by shrapnel and Ronja died at the veterinarian hospital from his wounds. The handler received minor injuries.

A jury found Swinson guilty on Nov. 20, 2023, of second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree assault and harming a police dog. On Oct. 18, 2023, Swinson pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, according to court records.

Swinson has eight prior felonies, including sex trafficking of children, attempting to elude and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. 

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