GREENVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — Authorities in Augusta County, Virginia have decided not to press charges against an investigator who shot and killed a dog on a leash a month ago.
Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin said that after reviewing the case, including recorded statements from witnesses, the dog’s owner and the investigator, the county government believes the shooter acted in self-defense.
The investigation was an internal one conducted by the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office. Check here for more details about the investigation: PDF Augusta County
According to Martin, to press charges the investigation would have to find evidence suggesting the shooter acted for some other reason other than self-defense.
According to all accounts of the events, the investigator pulled into a grassy area near a house, stepped out of his vehicle and the dog ran at him in what was perceived to be an aggressive manner. The dog was on a leash attached to a wire which allowed him to move within the yard.
The investigator backed up, the dog closed the distance and the investigator drew his gun and fired once, killing the dog.
A witness confirmed the officer’s account of the events, although the dog did not attack any other deputies who had been at the scene.
Another deputy said that another person in the area had warned that the dog would sometimes bite.
The investigator came to the house after deputies who were there serving a warrant for the dog owner’s arrest found evidence of drug use at the house.
Reportedly the officer apologized to the dog’s owner, saying he was “scared to death” when he saw the dog coming toward him.