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The student news site of Ward Melville High School

Kaleidoscope

The student news site of Ward Melville High School

Kaleidoscope

Robot Police Dog Dies After Trying to Stop a Shooter

Image+Courtesy+of+danilo.alvesd+on+Unsplash
Image Courtesy of danilo.alvesd on Unsplash

On March 6, 2024, in the small Massachusetts town of Barnstable, a robotic police dog for the Massachusetts State Police named Roscoe, was shot in a nine hour standoff between SWAT and a shooter. While it was a disheartening loss, this demonstrated just how valuable technology can be in avoiding injuries or death during dangerous situations.

Robotic police dogs have not been in use for very long, however, they have been very helpful. Though these robots are unarmed, they have been a great help to police forces around the world, being used to deliver food to hostages, defuse bombs, and in this case, stop shooters. 

On March 6, 2024, 30-year-old Justin Moreira barricaded himself inside a home in Barnstable, Massachusetts after someone called 911 on him (Cape Cod Times). The call was made on account that Moreira was holding his mother at knifepoint, trying to get the keys to her gun safe. When SWAT and Mass. State Police arrived, Moreira’s mother escaped and Moreira fled to said home. Since the heavily armed Moreira was shooting multiple rounds at officials from the windows, police were weary to go into the house. Therefore police sent three robots, including Roscoe, into the home to find where Moreira was hiding.

After clearing the first two floors, Roscoe stumbled upon Moreira, who was holding a rifle. Roscoe chased Moreira around the house, but was killed after being hit and shot three times. Despite this, police were able to use the recon that Roscoe had done, as well as take advantage of Moreira’s distracted and weakened state, to send in tear gas and eventually take custody of Moreira. He appeared in court the next day, facing 24 charges, including nine charges for attempted murder, and threats to do a school shooting (Cape Cod Times). After pleading not guilty, Moreira is now being held in a Massachusetts jail without bail. 

Apart from being the first robotic dog to be shot on duty, Roscoe’s involvement was significant in this standoff because it showed how much technology can help during dangerous situations. These robots are very valuable, especially in hostage or bomb situations, and will continue to usher in a new way of policing the world. Thanks to Roscoe, no humans had to go into the house, resulting in the only casualty being the robotic dog.

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