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USMS Tactical K9 Rin and Senior Inspector TK9 Handler both Receive Purple Heart Award


By Emily Williams, Office of Public Affairs

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For immediate release

A Canine dog looking away

On January 18, 2024, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) presented Rin and his handler with Purple Hearts. Both the tactical K9 and his handler, a USMS senior inspector, demonstrated exceptional courage when they were each shot and injured while executing an arrest warrant in Chicago with the USMS Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force (GLRFTF). Rin is the first K9 to receive a Purple Heart from the U.S. Marshals Service.

The suspect was wanted for attempted murder and robbery. Prior to the team breaching the door, shots were fired from inside the house. Rin was struck by a bullet in his chest which punctured one of his lungs and his handler was hit by gunfire in the hand and on his body armor. Rin’s handler immediately offered lifesaving medical aid to Rin while the rest of the task force focused on apprehending the fugitive.

One of the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force’s task force officers drove the handler and Rin to the emergency veterinarian. While on the way, the senior inspector applied a tourniquet to his own arm to stop the bleeding while still attending to Rin. Once they arrived at the emergency veterinarian the injured handler assisted the staff and was able to keep Rin calm until he was sedated for surgery. Once Rin was under sedation, his handler was treated on scene for his bullet wound.

The first 24 hours were rocky for Rin, but thankfully he was able to become stable. Rin was treated in Chicago at MedVet and was released three days after the incident. He is back in action and has since had many K9 surrenders, where fugitives are brought into custody with no injury to themselves, the deputies, or the canine.

“This is a truly miraculous story of two heroes in a very difficult situation,” said the Chief of Staff, Silas V. Darden. “This is also significant as this is the first time in the Marshal Service that we have awarded a Purple Heart to a K9. We thank both Rin and his handler for their service and dedication.”

Since the initial arrest, the suspect has been charged with attempted murder, injuring a police animal, aggravated cruelty to animals, assaulting a federal officer, and violating weapons laws.

The USMS is incredibly grateful for Rin and his handler. He has been incredibly humble throughout this entire experience, but his agility and decisiveness absolutely saved Rin’s life. His actions from this incident will be remembered and appreciated for years to come. Rin also saved multiple lives that day.

Most K9’s when they feel a threat would back away from a situation and Rin put himself in harm’s way to protect his fellow law enforcement officers. Thank you to Team Rin for a job well done and enduring the healing process, then hitting the streets again so soon after the incident.

Rin would like to remind everyone who comes in contact with him and his handler – You can run, but you cannot hide!

Purple Heart dog with a certificate

Purple Heart dog with a certificate

The USMS K9 Operations program provides dedicated protective, investigative, and enforcement K9 support to USMS missions. Until 2001, the agency relied mostly on local, state, and other federal K9 units for assistance. In 2001, the current USMS K9 Operations Program was established as a collateral duty program focused primarily on explosives and firearms detection. In 2016, Tactical K9 (TK9) operations were established. A USMS K9 team consists of a highly trained K9 and a deputy U.S. Marshal handler.

The U.S. Marshals Service TK9 provides tactical K9 resources that are specifically trained to conduct USMS enforcement operations in accordance with USMS policies and standard operating procedures. These teams are familiar with, and integrated into, USMS enforcement operations. TK9s are Belgian Malinois trained in-house by USMS K9 trainers.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at


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