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Officer, pedestrian and police dog die in Kansas City crash

Authorities say a driver collided with a Kansas City police car, killing an officer who made an arrest in an infamous quintuple homicide nearly a decade ago, the officer’s police dog and a pedestrian

An officer who made the arrest in an infamous quintuple homicide nearly a decade ago, his police dog and a pedestrian were all killed when a driver crashed into the officer’s car, Missouri authorities said.

Kansas City Police said the incident occurred Wednesday night while Officer James Muhlbauer was on patrol. The driver who hit the car sustained minor injuries and was arrested.

The pedestrian, identified only as a man in his 50s, died at the scene, as did the officer’s dog, Champ. Muhlbauer was rushed to a hospital where he later died.

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said officers are investigating the cause of the crash, including whether alcohol was involved. You said there is no indication that the officer was guilty.

Graves said agents from another department rushed Champ’s remains to the hospital so the two partners could reunite for what she described as their “hero stash.”

“You live with your dog, your partner, your family lives with your partner,” she said. “Go to work every day. You train every day. Eat, sleep and literally live with your partner. I’m more than just a dog. They truly are the best partners they can have.

Police said Muhlbauer, who was married and a father, was a 20-year veteran of the force. Graves called for prayers for Muhlbauer’s family and said the officers were “shaken” and “hurt.”

In 2014, Muhlbauer “heroically” arrested Brandon Howell after Howell killed five people in a quiet cul-de-sac when his attempt to steal a classic Jaguar went awry, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said. Howell, who was previously acquitted of the murders of two Kansas teenagers, is serving multiple life sentences, without the possibility of parole, for the fivefold murder.

Mayor Quinton Lucas noted that the fatal crash came just days after another officer was shot and injured at department headquarters shortly after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl. A busy day also followed as city officials curated a parade to celebrate the victory.

“We are all saddened by the Kansas City Police Department, the women and men of the department,” Lucas said. “We are certainly grieved with the officer’s family.”

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