Four seconds. That is how fast a misunderstanding escalated to the death of a man’s best friend at the hands of an Austin police officer.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has apologized to Michael Paxton, owner of a 7-year-old Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog) that was fatally shot over the weekend, saying, “Regardless of whether or not it’s justified or not justified, Mr. Paxton saw his dog killed, saw his dog die, and my heart goes out to him. I just want to say I’m sorry on behalf of all the department, I’m sorry you saw that. I know the pain’s real. We all love our pets and I hope we can get through it.”
On April 14, A woman believing she had witnessed a domestic dispute between a Hispanic man with salt-and-pepper hair and a woman attempting to get away from him. She called the police to report the incident and gave the dispatcher an address. That address would turn out to be home to three different residences, one belonging to Michael Paxton.
Parked just a few minutes away, Officer Thomas Griffin responded to the call and drove to the address he was given. He explained to his dispatcher that the address was a split residence and got out of the car.
As Officer Griffin, a two-year veteran of the Austin Police Department, walked up the driveway, Paxton, a white male with reddish-brown curly hair, says he was walking to his truck, having no idea Griffin was there until the officer began shouting and drew his gun.
While I was at gunpoint my dog came from my backyard barking at the officer. I yelled for the officer to not shoot my dog, that he will not bite, but the officer immediately shot and killed my dog right in front of me.
I was unable to stop or restrain Cisco because I was being held at gunpoint.
Watching/listening to Officer Griffin’s dash cam footage, it’s easier to understand just how quickly everything unfolded.
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