BRAINTREE, Mass. (WPRI) — Community members came together in Braintree on Thursday for the unveiling of a memorial in honor of K9 Kitt.

A group of five Braintree children helped raise more than $24,000 through lemonade stands and cornhole tournaments to help build the statue.

“It meant so much to us because we thought Kitt should be recognized for how much he sacrificed for other people,” Marina Whitelaw said.

On June 4, 2021, officers were called to a domestic dispute at an apartment complex near McCusker Drive. Kitt entered the woods with the officers searching for a man who had run off with two handguns.

Kitt and three officers were ambushed by the suspect and encountered heavy gunfire. Kitt, a 12-year veteran of the force, was struck and killed.

Police said that Kitt diverted the suspect’s attention away from his handler, Officer William Cushing, and the two other officers.

Now the kids who raised the money hope the statue can serve as a reminder of the sacrifice Kitt made for Braintree.

“As I reflect on my time with Kitt with this department, I can now say that you were worth it,” Cushing said.

Cushing later established the K9 Kitt Foundation, which now provides relief for violently injured K9 teams across the country.

The memorial statue stands in front of a memorial to other fallen Braintree officers.