A Florida family plans to file a lawsuit against a Brevard County Sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot their dog while the family’s 2-year-old child sat nearby.
According to the Daily Mail, the sheriff’s office responded to the family’s home in Merritt Island after a neighbor reported seeing a toddler unattended.
Five-year-old Brownie behaved aggressively toward the deputy, and so he opened fire in fear of his safety.
Witnesses felt the deputy over-reacted and were shocked at the careless shooting of a gun near the child. Family members say Brownie has always been protective of all five children, especially the youngest.
Relatives say the child’s mother was sitting in the garage and knew where the toddler was the whole time.
“There is no reason why he should've done that,” neighbor Josh Petelle told WKMG-TV. “What he should've done is talk to the person in the car port that was 15 feet away. It was totally uncalled for.”
When the deputy arrived, witnesses say he walked up to the home with his gun drawn and shot Brownie twice.
“The dog’s first thought is, Hey you’re walking up to me with a gun,’ and the dog growls,” one family member, Robert Gringas, said. “The dog didn’t lunge at him, the dog didn’t do anything. The dog just growled and then he put two bullets in him.”
The 2-year-old boy, who was sitting in his stroller at the time of the shooting, was not injured. The family intends to file a complaint with the sheriff’s office.
“It's very sad because we had her for so long,” said 12-year-old family member, Jordan.
The deputy finished his shift and has not been put on administrative leave.