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By Minyvonne Burke
A sheriff’s deputy was fired after he was seen on video shooting a chihuahua during a call to a home in Conway, Arkansas.
Faulkner County Sheriff Tim Ryals identified the deputy who fired his weapon at the small dog as Keenan Wallace, saying in a statement posted to Facebook on Saturday that Wallace had been “relieved of his duties.”
The Jan. 4 incident began when an unidentified woman allegedly showed up in the yard of the home of Doug Canady and pointed a gun at a neighborhood dog that Canady cares for, he told NBC News in a phone interview Monday.
Canady said he thinks the woman, whom he said he has never seen in the neighborhood before, was out on a walk. He told NBC that the chihuahua, Reeses, never “got more than five feet from her” and he doesn’t know why she allegedly brandished the weapon.
He said the woman eventually put the weapon away and Canady said he left and went to a nearby gas station. When he returned, a deputy was at his home and he decided to start filming on his cellphone.
In footage captured on Canady’s phone and shared on his Facebook page, the deputy is heard mentioning that authorities had talked to a woman who had been to the house.
Canady is heard refusing the deputy’s request to come out to the road to talk. Two small dogs can be seen in the video running around the yard barking.
“OK, I’m going to come to you. If the dog is aggressive, I’m going to shoot,” Deputy Wallace is heard saying.
Wallace is then heard yelling at Canady to “step to the road.” Moments later, a gunshot is heard and Reeses is seen writhing on the ground and yelping.
Sheriff Ryals said in his Facebook post, “I believe there were numerous opportunities to de-escalate the incident. Over the last 24 hours, at my request, Faulkner County Investigators have been working diligently to investigate whether Deputy Wallace violated any state law or our agency’s policies and procedures.”
Ryals also said he was asking the local prosecutor’s office “for further review.”
The sheriff said his department apologizes “for any distress and disappointment this incident has caused anyone who was affected by this disheartening event.”
“We will keep Reeses in our thoughts through the recovery process,” he added.
In a second Facebook video posted by Canady, the dog is seen with what appears to be a wound on his face and a bandage around its neck. Canady told NBC that doctors found bone fragments in the dog’s stomach which they may try and extract during surgery on the dog’s jaw.