74ºF

Family's dog shot by JSO officer investigating alarm, report states

Man plans to sue the Sheriff's Office, alarm company

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Westside family's 11-year-old pit bull was fatally shot by an officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, who was investigating a home after its burglary alarm was triggered, according to the police report.

It happened Wednesday at a home on Maple Street. The alarm was accidentally set off by children who live in the home, the Sheriff's Office said. The officer involved said the animal approached him in a threatening manner, so he fired at the dog, which was named Prophet, killing him.

But according to Matt Long, Prophet's owner, the animal suffered mobility problems and had trouble with minimal tasks like climbing a flight of stairs.

"He shot and killed him right here," Long said. "Then he beat on the door and yelled at my sons, 'Did you not hear that gunshot?' My sons were like, 'No, who are you, why are you here?' He said, 'I killed your dog.' Then talked into his (radio) and left."

According to a text message sent to Long from Comcast Security, the alarm was tripped around 2:35 p.m. The officer noted in his report that he was dispatched to the home at 2:48 p.m. Long says Comcast canceled the alert before the officer arrived, but the company may not have warned the officer.

"I think Comcast needs to be held accountable for sending the officer here, and I think the officer needs better sensitivity training," Long said. "They need to know how to handle dogs."

Long said when he spoke to someone in Internal Affairs at JSO, he was told the officer was wearing a body camera, which could shed light on what happened. He plans to press charges against Comcast and JSO.


About the Author: