Off-duty Houston officer who fatally shot family dog speaks out

July 9, 2013

The off-duty Houston police officer responsible for the death of a boxer named Gunner on July 5 is saying the dog attacked his family, reported ABC13 on July 9.

According to a statement released to Eyewitness news, Senior Officer Mark Condon stated

At the time of the incident, my wife and I were outside walking our dogs when a neighbor’s dog, a boxer, apparently got out of their backyard as we passed their house. The dog charged us and attacked me, my wife and one of our dogs. All three of us sustained injuries from the attack, which were documented by the Precinct 4 Constables’ Office. I felt that I had no choice but the shoot the other dog to stop the attack. There were no children around when I fired the shot, and it was not in the direction of any people or houses.

I have owned dogs and have been an animal lover my entire life. The last thing I would ever want to do is hurt an animal, especially someone’s pet. I am very sorry that the neighbors lost their dog, but I felt that I had no other choice under the circumstances.

This is the first time in 17 years of being a police officer that I have shot my weapon, except at the firing range.”

Gunner’s owners, Kevin and Kimberly Fitzhenry, tell a different story. The family says their sons and a friend were in the back yard playing baseball when the ball went over the fence. Dalton Fitzhenry, age 12, opened the back gate to retrieve the ball.

This is when Gunner ran out. According to Dalton, Gunner ran over to one of Condon’s dogs, where the family dog licked and smelled the other dog.

Kevin is very upset with the shooting that led to their dog’s death, and are making plans to have him cremated. In an interview with ABC13 Kevin said

“I just don’t see how you can justify walking up to an animal and shooting it in the neck at point-blank range with three children 30 feet away from you.”

Dalton, who witnessed the shooting, says Gunner never barked or growled at the Condons. The family insists the attack never happened.

The shooting is being investigated by the HPD Internal Affairs, as well as the Precinct 4 Constables Office.

Readers, which side of the story do you believe? Did Gunner attack, or did Officer Condon shoot and kill an innocent family dog?

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