Veteran upset after Augusta officer shoots, kills service dog

Posted: Updated:
AUGUSTA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Army veteran Alan Fitzgerald is upset after an Augusta police officer shot and killed his service dog, Midnite.

A police officer and an animal control officer responded to Fitzgerald's home Thursday after a neighbor called 911 to report Midnite attacked her dog, Augusta Police Chief Tyler Brewer said. 

Chief Brewer said the animal control officer was there to serve Fitzgerald a notice to appear in court for a "dog at large" violation.

"We've had previous contact with him with regard to this dog. We have some knowledge, some neighborhood complaints of this dog," Brewer said.

The animal control officer knocked twice, Brewer said. The door was open, but a glass screen door was closed.

Midnite was barking and jumping on the door and the door opened. Brewer says Midnite came at the animal control officer, knocking the officer off the porch. That is when the police officer shot Midnite three times, killing him.

Brewer says witnesses are corroborating these details.

However, some of Fitzgerald's neighbors disagree, saying the animal control officer knocked twice and when no one came to the door, neighbors said the animal control officer opened the screen door and stepped inside the home.

"He comes back out and we seen Midnite following him out, and I seen the officer start kicking Midnite," neighbor Charmin Drake said.

Fitzgerald said he's had Midnite since late 2015, and that Midnite went through training and became a certified ADA service dog through Family Dog Training and Behavioral Center.

The training center confirmed the dog was trained there, passed all necessary tests and did not show any aggression. The trainer said that because Midnite was a German Shepherd, it's not uncommon for them to protect their home.

Fitzgerald told KAKE's Morgan Downing Midnite helped him with PTSD.

According to police, Midnite bit Fitzgerald's 16-year-old nephew in 2016, sending him to the hospital where family members say he received stitches. Police did not know about that incident until after Midnite was killed.

Police said they did know the owner of the mobile home park filed a complaint against Midnite and Fitzgerald in the past.

The officer who shot the dog feels terrible, Brewer said, but did so because the animal control officer was being attacked, adding that it comes down to poor dog ownership.

The Augusta Animal Clinic has agreed to pay for Midnite's cremation.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have a photo to share with us? Email it to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE

  • Most Popular Stories

    • One person dead following two vehicle accident

      Dispatchers confirm one person has died following an accident near 71st and Hydraulic.

    • Wichita police officer targeted in ambush

      The incident occurred Wednesday, April 18th at approximately 10:45 P.M. at the east Warren theater.

    • Police arrest two people in connection to carjackings

      Two people are arrested in connection with two carjackings at multiple west Wichita businesses. 

    • California man charged with stabbing man to death at restaurant

       A homeless man has been charged with murder in the death of a California father who was stabbed in the neck as his 5-year-old daughter sat in his lap in a crowded beachside steakhouse. 

    • Kansas law enforcement out in full force for 4/20 weekend

      The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office is joining law enforcement from around Kansas and surrounding states to run special patrols over the weekend. “I think everyone I know is still going out this weekend,” Wichita resident, Matthew Masood said. 

    • 2 men arrested after standoff in south Wichita

      Two men have been arrested following a standoff at a west Wichita home.

    • Judge won't order Flint bottled water program to resume

      A federal judge has denied a request to order Michigan officials to resume distribution of free bottled water in Flint. 

    • kmuw.org

      Downtown Wichita Public Library closing next month

      The Wichita Public Library is scheduled to close its doors on Sunday, May 6th. 

    • Dillons fuel points are still good at Kwik Shop despite sale

      Kroger Inc. announced it's sale of their convenience stores to EG Group for $2.15 billion dollars. The sale includes 762 convenience stores and 66 franchise operations in 18 states including Kansas. Kroger owned the Kwik Shop locations in Wichita. Dillons Corporate Affairs Manager Shelia Lowrie confirms Dillons shoppers can still redeem fuel points at Kwik Shop stores with your Dillons plus card. However, customers will no longer be able to earn fuel points using the plus car...

    • Local students rally for reform

      Students across the nation and here in Kansas took to the hallways mid-morning, not traveling to their next class but walk out of school as a protest against violence.