SHELBY, N.C. — A Shelby K-9 whose handler was killed in the line of duty nearly three years ago passed away on Wednesday.

"We laid to rest perhaps the most significant dog of our lives. He was a hero, a warrior, bred and trained to serve without feelings of self-preservation," Shelby Police wrote about Ciko on Facebook.

The K-9 was retired after Officer Tim Brackeen was shot and killed while looking for a suspect wanted on outstanding warrants in September 2016. 

"(Ciko's) police work and training were hard on his body and that slowly caught up with him physically. In spite of this, his mind was sharp and he was still quite keen," the post read.

The department said Ciko didn't allow many humans to bond with him, so his relationship with Officer Brackeen was unique.

"In Ciko, we could see the indelible mark Tim left on him through his personality and his mannerisms. Their exploits were legendary," the post read.

Ciko lived to be 11 years and 7-months-old. Police said they were grateful for the time they were able to spend with him.

"Ciko and K9 Officer Tim Brackeen are finally together again," the post read.

Irving Fenner, Jr., the man accused of shooting Officer Brackeen, was arrested by authorities in Rhode Island. Several others were charged in connection with helping Fenner leave North Carolina.

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