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K-9 Bruno retires; homicide detail recognized

A standing-room-only audience packed City Hall Tuesday evening to cheer Bruno the police dog, who officially retired several weeks after being shot in the face protecting his partners from an armed gang member.Bruno and RJ Young

The audience also applauded Anaheim’s homicide team – and sex-crimes Det. Laura Lomeli – who in late April arrested two men suspected of killing at least five women.

After receiving a proclamation from the state assembly, Bruno yelped, which drew cheers from the audience.

His handler, R.J. Young, choked back tears as he described Bruno’s retirement as “bittersweet.”

“He’s retiring on top,” said Young, who thanked his colleagues, the community and the world for its support.

He gave special thanks to the Friends of the Anaheim K-9 nonprofit for providing funds to ensure the care “quality he’s earned” in retirement.

Bruno’s story drew international headlines, millions of likes on Facebook and more than 13 million impressions on Twitter. On Tuesday night, many residents wore “Hero” K-9 Bruno T-shirts.

Mayor Tom Tait called Bruno “our most famous K-9,” and Police Chief Raul Quezada said he was “so proud of our community” for coming together in support of Bruno, the K-9 unit and the police department.

City Hall’s corridors were lined with men and women in uniform, who applauded Bruno’s career – and the achievement of the homicide unit.

The investigators worked tirelessly to identify and arrest registered sex offenders Franc Cano, 27, and Steven Gordon, 45, on suspicion of killing at least five sex workers.

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