Man's Dog Shot, Killed By Sheriff's Deputy - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Man's Dog Shot, Killed By Sheriff's Deputy

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by Marcus Washington

DOVER, Tenn. - At 73 years old, he and his best friend did everything together. The relationship ended one morning when a sheriff's deputy shot and killed his dog in front of the senior's home.

Blanks "Buddy" Phippen was rarely without his dog, Girl, a German Shepard.

"If I walk down the street, (she) was right beside me," said Phippen.

The close relationship all changed the early morning of January 21 when a car crashed into a pole just outside Buddy's home.

He said that's when a sheriff deputy pushed him away from the scene.

According to Buddy and the Stewart County Sheriff's Office, Buddy went back out at least one more time and again the officer asked him to leave the scene, but that is where the stories change.

"I believe his words were on the report, 'I'll let this dog eat you up' or 'I'll let the dog eat you,'" said Sheriff Deryk Wyatt with the Stewart County Sheriff's Office.

According to the incident report, "the dog began to growl and charge at us."

"She didn't know how to growl. She wasn't very good at it," Phippen replied to the comment.

"Every attempt was made. He tried to deploy a taser to back the dog up, but the taser malfunctioned. The dog was still coming at him; he was really not left with any other choice," Sheriff Wyatt stated.

Sheriff Wyatt said the deputy shot four times at the dog; three of those bullets hit Girl.

"I was just crying and screaming trying to get him to quit," Phippen recalled.

Witnesses said Girl ran to the driveway after being shot, where she died.

Sheriff Wyatt said minutes later Phippen came out and asked who shot his dog.

The sheriff said Phippen said "'‘I understand why you did what you did. If you hadn't done that the dog would have bitten you.'"

"(No), I didn't say that. I didn't understand why he shot my dog. I still don't understand that," said Phippen.

Dealing with the pain of what happened has not been easy for Buddy, but a gift of another dog from his grandson has helped

"It will be as good of a friend, but it won't take Girl's place. Nothing will," he said.

Sheriff Wyatt said this is not a closed investigation.

They still plan to question other witnesses, but their preliminary investigation shows the deputy followed protocol.

Email: mwashington@newschannel5.com
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