NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - North Charleston's mayor and police chief released statements Friday morning on the deaths of two North Charleston Police officers in two separate vehicle crashes.
Police Chief Reggie Burgess issued this message on the deaths of North Charleston Police Officer Ryan MacCluen and K9 Officer Mojo:
"Our hearts are heavy this morning as we mourn the loss of our family members, Officer Ryan MacCluen and K9 MOJO. Both died overnight in two separate incidents.
Officer MacCluen, who has been with the department since August 2016, died when the motorcycle he was driving was hit by a vehicle in Summerville last night. Officer MacCluen was assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division North Evening Shift Team 2. His co-workers describe him as someone who loved being a police officer and a friendly person that always had a smile on his face. Officer MacCluen volunteered his time with the Cops Athletic Program's Powder Puff Football League as well as a SWAT Support team member. He loved the opportunity to give back to the community he served. Officer MacCluen was a 9-1-1 Dispatcher for Charleston County for 3 years, prior to joining NCPD.
K-9 MOJO passed away overnight as a result of a collision that he and his handler K9 VanAusdal were in. Officer VanAusdal was responding to a call of a burglary in process.
The officer was transported to MUSC for treatment and remains hospitalized. K9 MOJO was transported to an Emergency Vet Clinic where he succumbed to his injuries. K-9 MOJO served the department and citizens of North Charleston for more than 5 years. PFC VanAusdal has been with the department since November 2011.
I ask that each of you keep the families of our beloved Brothers MacCluen and K9 MOJO in your thoughts and prayers. And we pray for a full and speedy recovery for PFC VanAusdal. You can rest assured that the department, as well as the city, will be there for them during this difficult time."
Mayor Keith Summey released this statement earlier on Friday:
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Officer Ryan MacCluen. You remain in our thoughts and prayers. The City of North Charleston is deeply saddened by this loss, as Ryan was a respected member of the North Charleston Police Department and a friend to many. He will be sincerely missed.
We too grieve for the loss of Mojo, a K9 of the department. Two-legged or four, all working in police service are considered officers. We wish Mojo's handler, Officer VanAusdal, a speedy recovery.
Any city support needed will be provided to our officers during this time of bereavement.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol said a woman has been charged with felony DUI in the crash that killed MacCluen. MacCluen was riding his personally-owned motorcycle and wearing a helmet when the collision occurred, Dorchester County Coroner Paul Brouthers said.
This is is a developing story. Check back for updates.