Neighbor shoots, kills dog in front of multiple children - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Gibson County man shoots, kills pit bull in front of multiple children

Posted: Updated:

Residents in Patoka are angry after they say a man shot and killed a family dog.

Neighbors have posted signs on their homes not only in memory of Jack, the McGrew family dog, but also to seek justice.

Residents said it's normal to see children and dogs running around the neighborhood.
 
And everyone watched Jack, a young pit bull, as he roamed the neighborhood.

"I didn't have any problem with him, the kids would run up to him, play with him, pet him," neighbor April Stevens said. 

"Jack was just everybody's friend. He was so sweet and friendly and affectionate, you couldn't have found a sweeter dog," friend Stacey Allen said.

But last Thursday, authorities say Jack was shot when he wandered into the wrong yard.  

Patoka Town Marshal, Darryl Chamberlain, lives directly across the street from the location of the incident. He was home when the shooting occurred. 

"I spoke with the homeowner, he advised me the dog was in his yard, he did shoot at the dog, striking the dog.  (The) dog wasn't being aggressive or anything, it was just in his yard," Chamberlain said.

Julie McGrew said she knows the stigma associated with pit bulls, but neighbors agree that Jack was gentle.

Some say so friendly he's called the "unofficial mayor" of the town.  

"He was just the biggest baby.  The town marshal even said the worst he would ever do to anybody is knock them over and lick them to death," McGrew said.

McGrew said she does take responsibility for Jack not being in his own yard, but said he's been roaming the neighborhood with the kids for the past several years. 

Neighbors are at a loss for words over Jack's death and what they say was a disregard for the children's safety.

"I don't know what kind of mindset it would take for someone to think of seeing a dog in their yard and just say 'I'm just gonna go out and shoot it just because it's in my yard'," Allen said.

"I feel very insecure in my own neighborhood," Jennifer Lloyd said.

Lloyd's son was one of several children playing in the yard when Jack was shot. She says the ordeal has traumatized him.  

"He's scared to sleep in his bed now, he hears fireworks and he says the guy is shooting animals again mommy. Go get them from him. I'm scared," Lloyd said. 

The Gibson County Prosecutor's Office said charges are pending. The suspect could face felony criminal recklessness, mischief, and cruelty to animals. 

Jack's family says ultimately they'd like to see justice in this case, but more importantly they're concerned for the safety of the children in this neighborhood.

"We're lucky that all three shots hit him, because there were seven kids in the yard. Had they not, would he have hit a kid? Would a bullet have ricocheted off of something and the town marshal was mowing his yard directly across the street?" McGrew said. 

We tried to get a response from the suspect but he was not at home.

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow