(FOUNTAIN, Colo.) — Nine days after falling 40 feet off a bridge, Fountain Police Department (FPD) K-9 Officer Julian Becerra has died.

This is the first time an officer with FPD has died in the line of duty in over 100 years. K-9 Officer Becerra had been with the Fountain Police Department for four-and-a-half years.

Fountain Mayor, Sharon Thompson said, “Fountain is forever grateful for his service to our community.”

On the night of Feb. 2, 2023, Officer Becerra was assisting other agencies in pursuing three stolen vehicle suspects out of Pueblo, when he fell 40 feet off a bridge, and was critically injured.

During a press conference on Feb. 3, Fountain Police Commander Mark Cristiani said, “We don’t have really a lot of clarity on how Officer Becerra fell over the side, whether it was a fall, a trip, a push, a slip, we really don’t know.”

Officer Becerra was airlifted to a hospital in Colorado Springs, where he was on life support and surrounded by his family for several days.

“The suspects that Officer Becerra was pursuing the night he was gravely injured, were repeat felons with multiple active warrants for their arrest,” said Mayor Thompson.

The driver of the stolen car was 31-year-old Devon Bobian. Bobian and two other suspects, 28-year-old Danisha Pacheco and 37-year-old Anthony Vallejos, had led police on a chase across Fountain and Colorado Springs. All three suspects were arrested on numerous felony charges.

Thompson said, “They should never have been out on the street in the first place, but due to a lack of accountability in our justice system and failed bail reform initiatives, they were allowed to prey on our citizens and create the circumstances that put Officer Becerra on the bridge that night.”

Fountain Police announced on Saturday, Feb. 11 that Officer Becerra had passed away. Later that night, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office lead a procession to escort Officer Becerra from Penrose Hospital.

“This is a tough time for our city and I want all of our police officers and first responders to know we are standing with them and by them, and are so honored and proud of their service to our community. May God bless Julian Becerra and his family,” said Thompson.

Now a memorial is growing on Officer Becerra’s patrol car, which is parked outside the Fountain Police Department.

It’s the first time many people in this community have faced the heartbreak of losing an officer, as the department has not lost a brother or sister in blue since 1921.

Mayor Thompson said, “Lastly, I would also ask our community to embrace two words as we work through this tragedy: grace and kindness.”