Members with the Edmonton Police Service are remembering a 5-year-old member of the EPS Canine Unit, killed in the line of duty early Monday morning – while a man in his 20s is facing a number of charges.

Edmonton police said Monday morning that Police Service Dog Quanto and his handler Cst. Matthew Williamson were deployed following a police pursuit.

The Canine Unit had been called to the area of 90 Street and 118 Avenue, at about 5:15 a.m. for a stolen vehicle call.

Police said a pursuit took place with the stolen vehicle heading south on 97 Street, and west on 111 Avenue, before the vehicle headed north on 108 Street, and then west on a service road where it crashed into a median near a gas station.

Then, police said the suspect tried to flee on foot, refusing to follow instructions from officers to stand down – that’s when Quanto was deployed, engaging with the suspect in the parking lot at RCMP K-Division near 109 Street and 111 Avenue.

It’s alleged the suspect stabbed Quanto, who was rushed to the Edmonton Veterinary Emergency Clinic where he died at about 5:30 a.m.

Now, Paul Joseph Vukmanich, 27, is facing a number of charges including criminal flight, dangerous driving, four counts of possession of stolen property, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, resisting arrest, and cruelty to an animal, as well as breach of parole conditions.

Vukmanich was also the subject of Canada-wide warrants for armed robbery at the time of his arrest.

Police said Quanto is the fifth police dog to be killed in the line of duty; the last death was in June 1998, when PSD Caesar died.

EPS officials said Quanto was responsible for more than 100 criminal arrests over his four years with the Canine Unit.

The Edmonton Police Canine Unit was officially formed in 1967, although it got its start almost 5 years earlier (in 1963) thanks to Maynard Vallevand and his dog Sarge who became the first team.

In the wake of Monday’s tragedy, the Edmonton Police Foundation is accepting donations on behalf of Quanto, cheques can be mailed to the Edmonton Police Foundation, 9620 103 A Avenue, Edmonton, AB, T5H 0H7, or dropped off at the same address.

In addition, donations of toys and food for dogs at the Edmonton Humane Society can be dropped off at the front desk at the Humane Society (13620 163 Street).

With files from Laura Tupper