DA will not file charges against Adams deputy who shot dog
Ziggy (Photo: Kurt Holzberlein)
ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — The District Attorney will not file charges against an Adams County sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a dog while responding to a burglary.
The deputy shot and killed “Ziggy” as they were responding to a burglary call at a business on Tennyson Street.
The dog’s owner, Jeff Fisher, claimed deputies shot his dog “for no reason,” but Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr said the dog was aggressive and threatened one of the deputies.
According to a summary of the investigation by District Attorney Dave Young, Deputies Wilfred Europe and David Slater were called to a burglar alarm at 5384 Tennyson Street on January 14. Both deputies started checking doors outside the business and found all were locked but one.
Europe opened the door and heard “noises inside the location that they identified as a person moving and a dog barking,” Young said.
Europe closed the door and a man, later identified as Fisher, opened the door. “Because of the nature of the dispatch call, the deputies not knowing who was behind the door and department protocol, both deputies hand their handguns drawn,” Young said.
While the deputies ordered Fisher to stop, a black and white dog ran outside and “ran directly at Deputy Europe, who retreated approximately twenty feed from the west side door to get away,” Young said.
In an interview, Europe said the dog was “barking, growling and snapping its teeth.”
Europe kicked the dog in an “effort to deter its aggressive behavior.”
“As the dog persisted to charge him, Deputy Europe fired his gun two times, shooting the dog and killing it,” Young said.
Europe told investigators, he “tried to avoid using lethal force on the dog” but that “the dog was not deterred and continued advancing forward to bite [him],” the summary said.
Fisher told investigators that Slater invaded Fisher’s home and stuck a gun in his face. Fisher also said that Europe killed his “rather ‘friendly’ dog from a distance of 15 to 20 feet without any justification,” the summary said.
However, Young reported that the necropsy on Ziggy showed wounds to his front consistent with the kicking and that the bullet wound was at a 43 degree angle and traveled from front to back.
“The facts and evidence gathered from the scene appears to corroborate the deputies’ version of events,” Young wrote.