Dogs & Laws

WV State Troopers Shoot, Kill Beagle-Mix During Search for Unrelated Fugitive

“This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.”

Willy Pete Was Shot And Killed By West Virginia Police During An Unrelated Manhunt. Photo Courtesy Facebook/Justice For Willy Pete.
Willy Pete was shot and killed by West Virginia police during an unrelated manhunt. Photo courtesy Facebook/Justice for Willy Pete.

It’s a story that’s happening all too often these days – police enter an unsuspecting dog owner’s property, unannounced and without warning, and shoot the family dog.

West Virginia State Police were searching the area about 7-miles outside of Milton, WV, where a fugitive was on the run.  Johnathan Jeffers was to be questioned for allegedly threatening his wife, but when police arrived, he fled the scene and reportedly fired a weapon at police.

Troopers began searching the area at about 3:00am on Tuesday. After several hours of searching for Jeffers, police emerged from the woods and entered unrelated resident Ginger Sweat’s property. Her dog, a 6-year old Beagle-mix named Willy Pete, ran to greet the officers who then fired a shot at the dog.

Sweat says officers fired one time and missed, at which time Willy Pete began running toward the porch where she was standing, waving her arms and begging police to let her put the dog inside.

Sweat says that despite her pleas, and Willy Pete running away, they fired three more shots, killing the dog.

Sweat’s two children, ages 7-months and 18-months-old were sleeping inside.

Despite Sweat’s assertion to police that her dog would not hurt them, West Virginia State Police Lieutenant Michael Baylous said the dog was a threat, and troopers did what they are trained to do.

“Try to avoid it, if possible, but the trooper who fired the shots, it’s my understanding, waited until the very last second to fire that shot, in hopes that that animal would retreat,” Baylous told WCHS 8.

A Facebook Page has been created in support of Willy Pete and his family in an effort to bring this case to justice as well as to put an end to senseless shooting of family pets by police.

According to the Page, Justice for Willy Pete,

Innocent animals are being shot every day for no reason by trigger happy, badly trained police officers. It is said that every 16 minutes in the USA, a dog is brutally and needlessly shot by law enforcement. This is an alarming statistic and they are getting away with it. This has to stop! Something needs to be done before more innocent pets are murdered.

Please sign the petition: www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/major-t-d-bradley-chief-of-field-services-investigate-the-shooting-of-a-family-pet-while-searching-for-a-fugitive-in-the-woods#

Image 100572046 13348155
14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar Of Rene

    Rene

    says:

    “The officer did what he was trained to do” who was the moron that made that comment again? An officer is trained to protect and serve. How is discharging a firearm near a woman and her children sleeping inside protecting?
    Why did he shoot 3 more times? If he’s that lousy with a weapon he better not be looking for fugitives. A good cop could have injured the animal but not killed it. As an animal cruelty officer, i was taught you always shoot a person, aggressive animal, or anything else to injure unless there is absolutely NO way around it. I think a retreating dog was a way around it and should not have been shot at all. Maybe a good janitorial job is better for this so called officer

  2. Avatar Of Elizabeth P

    Elizabeth P

    says:

    Willy Pete was heading back to the porch to Ginger Sweat, what threat was there? The trooper shooting at Willy Pete and Ginger Sweat BOTH INNOCENT bystanders is the search of a wanted man. Also in danger were the children inside. Willy Pete knew who the threat was that trooper

  3. Avatar Of Michaelb Michaelb says:

    Waited to the last minute to shoot him from behind?

  4. Avatar Of Donna Earley Donna Earley says:

    TO MAKE CALLS IN SUPPORT OF GINGER SWEAT, HER FAMILY, WILLY PETE (RIP) SEE CONTACT NAMES AND PHONE NUMBERS BELOW…..PICK UP YOUR PHONE AND MAKE THAT CALL…DO IT FOR WILLY PETE….DO IT FOR YOUR DOG!!!! BE SURE TO SPEAK TO LT. MT BAYLOUS…CAUSE HE DON’T WANT TO TALK TO US.
    West Virginia State Police > Contact US
    West Virginia State Police Headquarters
    725 Jefferson Road
    South Charleston, WV 25309
    Who to talk to at Headquarters
    1st Sargaent Starsick @ 304-586-2000
    or
    First Lieutenant M. T. Baylous, OIC
    304-746-2198
    Main information number
    304-746-2100
    Major T. D. Bradley, Chief of Field Services
    Captain A. L. Cummings, Deputy Chief of Field Services
    Captain C. J. White – Professional Standards / Promotional Standards Officer
    Captain C. J. White
    304-746-2110

  5. Avatar Of Tara Gabe

    Tara Gabe

    says:

    It sounds like today’s “Peace Officers” are the ones who should be banned from having guns. We need guns to protect ourselves from cops!

  6. Avatar Of Tandi Noggle

    Tandi Noggle

    says:

    they say get a dog for protection…then shoot your protection. Nice.

  7. Our Police officers come to the front door and ask to go back. They don’t kill our dogs.

  8. Avatar Of Frances

    Frances

    says:

    “officers fired one time and missed, at which time Willy Pete began running toward the porch”

    If the dog was running away from the officers, how was that dog a threat to them? Sounds like the programed response they all give when they kill a dog even those running away.

  9. Avatar Of Heather

    Heather

    says:

    “It is said that every 16 minutes in the US a dog is brutally and needlessly shot by law enforcement.” Where did this statistic come from? You can’t just throw “it is said” in front of whatever bit of nonsense you want and make it true.

    • Avatar Of Kathleen Gentile

      kathleen gentile

      says:

      actually it is every 98 minutes somewhere in this country a dog is shot by law enforcement…..it has to stop

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

To Top

Like Us for Wonderful Dog Stories and Cute Photos!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest dog news, recall alerts, and giveaways!

You have Successfully Subscribed!