Police Blotter

FAIRLEE — The Kent County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation of one of its own deputies who shot and killed a family’s dog during a drug raid, Lt. Stuart Lodge confirmed Tuesday.

He identified the deputy as a 15-year veteran of the KCSO who is a member of its tactical entry team.

At this point, the deputy has not been removed from active duty.

“From all initial indications, it appears this incident was within policy,” said Lodge, who is heading the investigation.

An internal investigation is standard procedure when a deputy discharges his weapon in the performance of his duties.

“It looks like it is pretty straightforward,” Lodge said in a telephone interview Tuesday night. “It looks like the deputy was fearing for his safety and the surrounding tactical team members.”

The deputy fired a single shot from his KCSO-issued rifle, mortally wounding a 6-year-old male brindle pit bull mix, according to Lodge.

Kent County Animal Control officers rendered aid, but the dog succumbed to his injuries shortly after being shot.

Lodge called the incident “tragic.”

“Nobody wants to shoot a dog. It’s not the dog’s fault,” he said, “but we have laws to enforce.”

Lodge said other dogs on the property were not harmed.

There were no injuries reported by the residents or law enforcement officers.

The incident occurred about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 22000-block of Cross Road in the village of Georgetown near Fairlee, where deputies were assisting the Kent County Narcotics Task Force with a residential search warrant — one of three search warrants served that day in the county in the same investigation.

When members of the tactical entry team knocked on the front door, it opened and dogs came running out, Lodge said.

The door was not latched all the way, he said.

One of the dogs, the brindle pit bull mix, appears to have approached the deputy in an aggressive, attacking way, according to the preliminary investigation.

Sheriff John Price said the dog already had “lunged into” another member of the tactical entry team, who shoved it away using a battering ram. The dog then charged toward the deputy who subsequently fired his weapon.

“It’s certainly unfortunate, but was necessary for the safety of the deputies on the scene,” Price wrote in a text message to the Kent County News on Wednesday morning.

The residents were still inside the house when the dog was shot, said Lodge, who is commander of the sheriff’s office Criminal Investigation Division.

No arrests were made there Tuesday.

As of press time Wednesday, the drug task force had not reported on what, if anything, was seized from the Cross Road residence.

Every member of the sheriff’s office tactical entry team and the two deputies assigned to the task force were wearing body cameras.

Lodge watched some of the footage Tuesday.

He will review all of the bodycams’ footage and conduct follow-up interviews as part of an investigation that he anticipates will be wrapped up in about two weeks.

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