Paralyzed dog shooter gets 10 years

blog-policedog.JPGRobert Lee Cooke, the Chesterfield man who shot an Albemarle County police dog during a botched 2004 burglary, and who was shot himself by police as he fled the scene, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $5,000 to cover the cost of the dog, the Daily Progress reports.

“I do feel like I’ve been punished already,” Cooke told Judge James A. Luke before his sentencing, pointing out that he is the father of a daughter and a baby on the way. “I lost half my body. My life and attitude is forever changed.” Cooke was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the shooting.

Cooke was convicted of illegal possession of a firearm, which carries a mandatory five-year sentence, and the malicious wounding of a police dog, for which the jury recommended a seven-year sentence. Luke suspended two years.

The shootings occurred after officer Andy Gluba and his K-9 partner Ingo responded to a burglary call and discovered Cooke robbing a Reservoir Road duplex. Cooke shot Ingo trying to escape, then Gluba shot Cooke. Although Ingo wasn’t killed in the shooting, he was later euthanized because of his injuries.

Last year, the Virginia General Assembly adopted a memorial resolution for Ingo, which states that “Ingo's heroic behavior on the night of October 24, 2004, protected Officer Gluba from harm and probably saved his life”Š Ingo was shot twice in the spine but continued to pursue a burglary suspect and protect his handler despite being partially paralyzed.”

Ingo, a German Shepard who was almost ten years old at the time of his death, was actually born and trained in Czechoslovakia before arriving in Virginia in 1998. Apparently, Ingo had numerous arrests and drug finds to his credit, including the apprehension of escaped rapist Timothy Eads, the man whose girlfriend allegedly smuggled a shackle key to him behind bars.