North Texas Sheriff’s Office Investigates Deputy’s Fatal Shooting of Family Dog

by Lisa

The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office is under scrutiny following an incident in which a deputy shot and killed a dog while responding to a non-violent domestic call.

The incident occurred in March when a deputy responded to a 911 call regarding a verbal argument at a residence. Upon arrival, the deputy fatally shot the family’s German shepherd mix, prompting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting.


Body camera footage released by the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office depicts the deputy responding to the domestic call at a residence off Joyce Road on March 26 around 6:45 a.m. Within moments of entering the property, the deputy encountered the family’s dog, which allegedly jumped from a porch toward him, leading to the fatal shooting.


Heather Thomas, the dog’s owner, expressed devastation over the loss of her 5-year-old dog, named Loki. “That was my best friend, and we buried him over there,” she lamented.


In response to inquiries from FOX 4, the sheriff’s office issued a statement indicating that it is “conducting a thorough investigation to understand the circumstances surrounding the incident and will take appropriate actions, as necessary.”


Alex Del Carmen, associate dean of criminology at Tarleton State University, raised concerns about the deputy’s actions, particularly regarding the use of a cell phone for illumination instead of a standard-issued flashlight. Del Carmen also questioned whether the deputy adequately assessed the situation before resorting to lethal force.

“After I reviewed the video, I was very concerned,” Del Carmen remarked. “The answer to that I think is that the officer is going to have found to at least have broken a couple of policies related to that.”

The sheriff’s office will reportedly determine whether the deputy perceived a legitimate threat justifying the use of lethal force. Del Carmen likened this assessment to the evaluation of officers’ use of force against suspects.

Despite the sheriff’s office characterizing the incident as a “high-stress scenario,” Thomas maintains that her dog posed no threat to the deputy. “No, he just jumped off. He was coming out here to go to the bathroom,” she asserted.

While saddened by the loss of her pet, Thomas acknowledged that the outcome could have been far worse. “He shot toward my house when there were other people in there and me two feet away. He could’ve killed me,” she recounted.

The statement from the sheriff’s office concluded by acknowledging that “high-stress scenarios are often difficult and complex,” hinting at the complexities involved in assessing the deputy’s actions during the incident.


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