GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (WSVN) — A Georgia police department is mourning the loss of one of their own after a police K-9 died while in the line of duty.

The Gwinnett County Police Department announced the passing of one of their K-9s, Eli.

According to WSB, police said Eli and his handler, Officer Banano, were called to a scene to help find a suspect.

“At no point was our K-9 actually tracking the suspect – meaning he wasn’t following his footsteps. We were just actively trying to see where he had last been,”said Gwinnett Police Cpl. Michele Pihera.

Police said after calling off the search about 30 minutes later, Eli collapsed and stopped breathing.

Investigators told WSB that it appeared Eli was suffering from something heat-related.

Officers said they tried to give Eli water while they rushed him to the veterinarian, but he did not survive.

“He loved coming to work, he had that drive, and every time Officer Banano was ready to go to work, he was excited to go to work,” Pihera said.

Police said Eli lived with Officer Banano and was a part of his family. The pair worked together for almost 10 years.

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