LCSO investigating deputy-involved shooting of dog

Posted at 3:58 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 12:01:15-04

WOODVILLE, FL. (WTXL) - New details are emerging on what led a Leon County deputy to shoot a dog Tuesday afternoon. 

The Leon County Sheriff's Office released a report on the incident Wednesday afternoon.

According to the report, around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a deputy responded to Register Road to conduct offender rehabilitation activities.   

The deputy, identified as Detective Richard Kaplan, was dressed in plain clothes and was wearing a green outer protective vest, which visibly marked the word "SHERIFF" in bold, white lettering. 

As the deputy was walking towards the home, he saw a large dog approach him from the west side of the yard.    

The dog then turned toward the deputy, biting him on his shoe. The dog then retreated and aggressively lunged towards the deputy's stomach. 

According the report, the deputy was in fear that the dog was going to bite him and cause great bodily harm, so he drew his service pistol, firing one round at the dog.  

The round hit the dog in the paw, causing him to stop his aggressive actions. 

A witness to the incident and the owner of the dog told deputies that the dog, a 78 pound pitbull named Smokey, has never bitten anyone and has never been aggressive. 

However, Smokey's owner said, "if the tables were turned I would be frightened of a big dog." She also said that she understood why the deputy was in fear.  

Smokey was transported to Northwood Animal Hospital for treatment.   

LCSO is still investigating the incident.

WOODVILLE, FL. (WTXL) - A Woodville woman is reeling after a Leon County Sheriff's deputy shot her dog Tuesday.

"I'm in shock, but I'm devastated," said Ashley Calhoun. 

Smokey, Calhoun's 10-year-old blue pitbull, was playing in the front yard of her family's home on Register Road when an unmarked truck pulled up at about 1:30 p.m.

A Leon County Sheriff's deputy got out and approached the house. Smokey ran toward the deputy.

"But [the dog] never made contact with [the deputy]," said Calhoun. "I saw something in his hand, what I thought was pepper spray. Before I could make it down to the step, he shot [my dog]. I realized then it wasn't pepper spray. It was a gun."

Lt. Grady Jordan with the Leon County Sheriff's Office says the deputy was there to check on Calhoun's younger sister, who's on juvenile probation.

"The dog was transported to a local veterinarian hospital," said Lt. Jordan. "I believe he was shot in the paw or in the leg, so he will be ok."

"It felt like somebody had shot my sister or my mom or my child, because he's like my best friend," said Calhoun.

Smokey lived, but his leg is shattered. He'll need an expensive surgery to recover.

"I don't have the money for that, so I'm probably just going to have him put down at this point. I don't know what I'm going to do," said Calhoun. She's started a GoFundMe to raise the money for Smokey's surgery.

The deputy who shot the dog has not yet been identified. The Leon County Sheriff's Office is still investigating the incident.