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State Police Decline Probe Request

PRINCE EDWARD — Prince Edward County Sheriff Wesley Reed and Commonwealth’s Attorney James R. Ennis contacted the Virginia State Police to see if they would investigate the circumstances surrounding a county deputy’s shooting a dog at a residence.

The State Police, Ennis reported late Tuesday, has declined.

“They considered this to be an administrative investigation, like…when an officer uses his firearm, and not a criminal matter that they would investigate,” Ennis reported. “Administrative is their term, not mine.”

The shooting has been a simmering matter in recent weeks and Sheriff Reed and Ennis sought the State Police investigation.

According to a previous press release from Sheriff Reed, on June 27 a deputy “was charged by a vicious dog at a residence while he was attempting civil paper service. The deputy tried to get away from the dog but the animal lunged at him so he fired his weapon as required by his training. Animal Control was notified seeking medical assistance for the dog, but the animal later died.”

Sheriff Reed believes the officer acted correctly.

“There was a threat to the officer,” Reed told The Herald earlier this week, “and the officer neutralized the threat.”

Ennis was not surprised by the State Police decision.

The family, however, is making another appeal, having initiated a petition at change.org asking that Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring have the State Police investigate the fatal shooting.