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Off-duty deputy who shot dog cleared by internal affairs

1-year-old dog was shot at Clay County park

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – An internal affairs investigation determined that an off-duty Clay County Sheriff's Office deputy who shot and killed a dog at a public park in Lake Asbury was justified in his actions.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the internal affairs review found that no agency policies were violated. The case was closed as a non-offense, and the internal affairs review reflected that as well.

ORIGINAL STORY: Dog shot, killed by off-duty deputy at Clay County park

Originally, a Sheriff's Office spokesperson told News4Jax that, "This was not an on-duty case, so we do not have a statement to provide." On Tuesday night, the Sheriff's Office made the following post addressing the investigation, which included the original incident report:

According to the incident report, the owner's friend who was watching the dog took his leash off so he could run and play while they were at the park. The woman said the dog, Parker, got excited when he saw Clay County Sheriff's Office Lt. Mark Cowan and his dog and ran toward them.

The incident report stated that the deputy felt threatened. Cowan said he thought Parker looked like a pit bull that appeared to be about 40 to 50 pounds. Cowan said he yelled at Parker to stop and the dog did not. "In fear for his safety and his dog's," the report states, Cowan drew his own personal handgun and fired.


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