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PBSO K9 Casper awarded purple heart

Posted at 1:47 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-15 13:48:59-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- Casper, a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office K9 officer, was awarded a Purple Heart from the U.S. Marshals in a ceremony on Wednesday.

Casper was shot by an armed robbery suspect in May. “Best way to explain, it’s like another one of my kids,” said Deputy John Sylvester about his relationship with his K9. “When the rounds came, it was meant for a group of us. Unfortunately, [K9 Casper] was the one who took the round.”

A bullet was lodged in the muscle near Casper's hip. Fortunately the bullet missed the bone, which veterinarians said made his recovery faster and far less complex.

The suspect who shot Casper died in a shootout with deputies.