Eugene Police dog killed by hit-and-run driver

The Eugene Police Department announced the news Saturday

The Eugene Police Department said Blek died Friday evening while off duty. (EPD)

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Authorities in western Oregon say a police dog a few weeks away from retirement has been killed by a hit-and-run driver.

The Eugene Police Department said Blek died Friday evening while off duty. (EPD)

The Eugene Police Department in a news release Saturday says the 8-year-old German shepherd named Blek died Friday evening while off duty with officer Rob Griesel in rural Lane County.

Police Chief Pete Kerns says Blek had been a go-to dog for the department and had a warrior’s spirit.

Earlier this year the Oregon Peace Officers Association honored Blek at its K9 Valor Awards for his capture of a suspect following the shooting of a law enforcement officer.

Authorities declined to release details about the hit and run, and say they have been unable to find the driver.