RAINS COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Rains County Deputy Jarred Dooley has been fired. This comes nearly a week after the deputy shot a homeowner’s dog while responding to a burglary call on FM 514. Dooley claims he feared the dog was going to attack, leaving him with no choice but to shoot.
Dash camera video shows Deputy Dooley pull up to the Middleton home where you can see Candy, the blue heeler, wagging her tail and hear her barking in the bed of a parked truck.
Moments later, the deputy can be seen getting out of his car and Candy then hops out of the truck. Then the video goes silent. That’s when officials said the audio goes out momentarily due to the loud sound of Deputy Dooley’s gun.
When it returns seconds later, you can hear Candy crying. She had been shot in the head.
We never see Candy get shot because it happens off to the side, out of the camera's range. It’s unclear on the video exactly how the dog approached the deputy, but he claimed the shooting was in self defense.
In a conversation between the Candy’s owner, Cole Middleton, and the deputy, Dooley said, “You’re about to be upset, but your dog charged me and I had to shoot him.”
Middleton can then be heard sobbing and asking why the deputy would shoot his dog.
Deputy Dooley then got back in his car and called for back-up, saying “Get me some help out here now.”
Then he put his car in reverse and waited for back up to arrive, at which point Middleton pleaded with the deputy to shoot his dog and finish her off.
You can then see Middleton walk over and pick up a bucket, which he said he had to use to drown his own dog. That happens off-camera.
This incident sparked questions about how the deputy handled the situation and even prompted the Rains County Sheriff’s Department to create new policies around handling aggressive animals.
“This is a bad situation that occurred,” he said. “It's a situation that we've never had to deal with.”
Sheriff David Traylor said in his nearly three decade career in law enforcement, he’s never had a department receive so many threats for a single incident. Ultimately, he said that is why Deputy Dooley was fired.
"He's had threats that he needs to be shot in the back of the head," Sheriff Traylor said. “And it came to the point that Deputy Dooley was actually in a dangerous position and he put any other officers working with him into a dangerous position.”
They have received so many calls that it has hindered work.
“Hundreds and hundreds of calls, some of them pretty vulgar to listen too,” he said. “It's taking up the time from what we need to be doing.”
Deputy Dooley had been working for the Rains County Sheriff’s Department for six months and Traylor said other than minor complaints he had no issues with Deputy Dooley.
Dooley will not be allowed to return to work at that department regardless of the outcome of the current investigation.
“That was a decision I know means saying at this point he is guilty of a criminal offense, but it is being investigated toward the criminal side right now,” he explained.
Guidelines are being set in place for deputies faced with a similar situation, such as calling the owner before getting out of the car if there is a potentially aggressive dog present or honking the horn.
“You can put the policies out there. You can try to follow them to the best that you can, and sometimes they work, sometime they don’t work, but a lot of it just comes down to common sense,” he said, but ultimately, it will all come down to judgment.