A family in Camden, Missouri, is missing a four-legged friend this Christmas after a police officer shot their 3-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever.
Owner Rhiannon Wilhite told WDAF that the last memory her children will have of their dog, Marley, is seeing their beloved pet gunned down.
Last Wednesday, Dec. 17, Marley, who has no history of aggression, was barking at a little girl and followed her down the street. Later that day, a Ray County Sheriff’s Deputy vehicle pulled into the Wilhite's driveway, but the driver claimed to be a Camden police officer.
The officer explained the dog needed to be on a leash while local children got off the school bus, and Wilhite explained the dog had gotten loose. Marley then came running around the corner towards the officer, who then shot the dog three times.
“I saw Marley get shot the second time,” said owner Raymond Wilhite. "He fell on the ground. Then ... at least 30 seconds after that of being on the ground, he shot again — the third time."
The officer said he feared for his life.
Rhiannon said it was traumatizing and that her children don’t want anything besides Marley back for Christmas. “I borrowed a shovel from my dad and I went out back and buried Marley,” Raymond said. “I dug a hole back there and I talked with Marley some more, and the kids came out and they said bye.”
Reporters at WDAF attempted to contact the Ray County Sheriff’s Office. They were hung up on twice and, when asked about the incident, staff members said they wouldn’t talk to the media. The Ray County Clerk did confirm that the deputy worked at the sheriff’s office and it was possible he also worked at the city police department.