Dog shooting by deputy not his first: He claims self-defense in border-collie-mix killing

Update: Monday's shooting of border-collie mix named Ziggy by an Adams County deputy -- see our previous coverage below -- continues to spin off new developments. The latest? An attorney for deputy Wilfred Europe insists that his client shot the dog in self-defense, and denies that Europe and his fellow officers were responding to the wrong address. However, he confirms that Europe had previously shot another dog while on duty.

Once again, this information comes to us from CBS4's Brian Maass, who's leading the pack on this story. He was the first to identify the shooter of Ziggy as Europe, and also revealed that the deputy had shot and killed forty-year-old Don Cambron during a traffic stop last year. Europe was cleared of any wrongdoing in that incident, even though the weapon Cambron is said to have been reaching for after being pulled over was a pellet gun.

This time around, Maass's source is lawyer Donald Sisson, whose services Europe has retained. Sisson confirms that Europe previously shot a dog in the line of duty, but beyond noting that the animal survived the wound and the deputy wasn't disciplined for his actions, he declines to provide additional information.

However, Sisson shares Europe's account of Ziggy's shooting -- and the tale has little relation to the one related to us by attorney Jennifer Edwards, speaking for the dog's owner, Jeff Fisher.

Edwards says Europe and other deputies burst into Fisher's business after responding to an alarm at an address almost a block away. As Fisher was ordered to the floor at gunpoint, she goes on, Ziggy scooted outside, but was returning in response to Fisher's calls when he was shot to death by Europe.

Not so, Sisson allows. He says the alarm originated from the same multi-business complex that housed Fisher's operation, and deputies were in the midst of searching the entire thing. He also maintains that Ziggy charged at Europe, barking, growling and snapping his teeth, and continued to pursue him as he backpedaled approximately 25 feet. Fearing he was going to be bitten, he fired twice -- not the three times mentioned by Edwards -- and killed Ziggy.

Look below to see another CBS4 report about the shooting's aftermath -- this one focusing on members of the public attacking Europe's actions on the Adams County Sheriff's Office Facebook page. Note that at this writing, most of those featured in the report are gone, replaced by several criticizing the ACSO for deleting critical comments. That's followed by our previous coverage.

Continue to read more of our coverage about this story, including photos and videos.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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