FORT MYERS, Fla.- A Fort Myers police officer talks for the first time about the shootout that took his K-9 partner's life, and could have cost him his own. Last September, Sgt. Glenn Thompson and his partner Rosco chased an armed robbery suspect fleeing a McDonald's on Colonial Boulevard.
"What makes you continue after someone tries to kill you and shot at you? It's a combination of training and a lot of us take this job very seriously," said Sgt. Thompson.
Thompson says he always felt a calling to law enforcement. Ten years ago, he took an oath to become an officer and on September 7, 2010, he put his training to the test.
"Once you hear there are people laying down on the ground, employees laying down and no one is coming up serving the customers, you have a good a idea that it is some kind of take over robbery," Thompson told WINK News.
With several other officers, Thompson and K-9 partner Rosco arrived on scene to help. At that moment, two armed suspects dashed out of the McDonald's back door with a handful of cash. Thompson and Rosco chased one suspect on foot.
"It's hard to say that oh my goodness I'm scared for my life, but you are because you think about that seconds before and seconds afterwards.But your emotions kinda stop for a second so that you're able to take whatever actions are necessary for you to survive that encounter," said Thompson.
Police say robbery suspect, Kamyn Bright,17, ran across Metro Parkway, and Thompson chased him.
"After giving him verbal commands, he continued to run past us and he started firing at myself, the officers that were behind me and one of the rounds that he fired eventually strucked Rosco," Thompson explained.
Thompson shot and killed Bright during the gunfight. But it wasn't until after the shooting was over, that Thompson found out one Bright's bullets took the life of his partner.
"I dropped to my knees. He was a huge part of my family and unfortunately he can't be replaced," said Thompson.
"There is just a feeling you get," said Thompson's wife, Angela, describing the emotions she was going through when her husband didn't come home on time the night of the shooting.
Angela tells WINK News she knew something was wrong when she heard the phone ring.
"My first question was have you been shot? And he said 'no' and he said 'but I'll have to call you back'. At that point you stop and you pray," she said.
Angela says she was relieved her husband was okay, but devastated by Rosco's death.
"You go through a lot emotions. Initially you go through a lot of crying," she told WINK News.
Although the community remembered Rosco with a funeral, the Thompson's say they'll never forget their beloved pet.
"He was very loving at home; he would crawl up on the couch or crawl up on your lap and want to be part of the family," said Sgt. Thompson. Since the shooting, Angela says it hard not to worry about her husband when he is on duty.
"You almost have to retrain yourself again to try to get back into life," explained Angela.
But now months later, the Thompson family is moving forward, dealing with the past head on, and grateful to have each other during tough times.
"It took a while before I realized my goodness this could of been extremely extremely bad," said Sgt. Thompson.
Rosco died exactly a year after he become a part of the Thompson family. Angela believes he was an angel sent from God to save her husband's life.