An officer in Augusta, Kansas shot and killed Army veteran Alan Fitzgerald’s service dog Midnite Thursday afternoon
An officer went with animal control to Fitzgerald’s residence after a call about a dog attack
Witnesses say the officer opened Fitzgerald’s door and was seen kicking Midnite
Augusta Police issued Fitzgerald two citations on Friday the day after they shot his dog
Thursday afternoon, an officer of the Augusta Police Department shot and killed Army veteran Alan Fitzgerald’s service dog Midnite. Police claim the dog was shot because the officer “feared for his life.”
Police claim to have received a complaint from a resident who said her dog had been attacked. Public Safety Director Tyler Brewer said that “We had someone call yesterday complaining about a dog attacking their dog on their property.”
The Police Narrative
Brewer said that animal control went to Fitzgerald’s residence with an officer. Police claim that the front door of the residence was open, but the glass door was closed. When Midnite saw the officers, he allegedly jumped at the glass door.
The police claim that Midnite charged the door a second time and this time broke through the door, which scared the animal control officer causing him to fall off the porch.
Brewer said that at that time “the officer shot the dog fearing for his life, and that of his partner.” A classic line that we all know all too well.
Fitzgerald was using the bathroom during the shooting, so he did not see everything that happened. His handicapped mother was also not in the room either.
Alan Fitzgerald’s Narrative
The Daily Haze sat down with Fitzgerald yesterday. We were told that he first rescued Midnite in 2015. The German Sheperd had been abused and was in need of some serious care and training, which Fitzgerald was willing to give both.
In December of 2016, Midnite became a certified ADA service dog through Family Dog Training and Behavioral Center. The training center confirmed Midnite’s training to KAKE ABC. Midnite passed all the “necessary tests and did not show any aggression.” TDH took this picture of Midnite’s service card.
Fitzgerald struggles with Anxiety and PTSD. The veteran told TDH that he had not had any episodes since Midnite came into his life. Midnite also acted as a service dog for Fitzgerald’s mother, who has a physical disability.
Fitzgerald says he heard the police pound on the door from the bathroom. Moments laters he heard gunshots and Midnite whimpering.
When he went out to see what had happened, Fitzgerald saw the officer had shot midnite. Fitzgerald, remind you a veteran with PTSD and anxiety, says the officer then pointed the gun at him and ordered him to get on the ground.
Fitzgerald went back into his residence and closed the door. He could see officers walking around his residence with guns drawn. At least one officer was said to be looking in Fitzgerald window with gun drawn.
Captain Bruce Relph was on the scene and called Fitzgerald’s phone. Fitzgerald told him he would not come out and talk to them unless all the officers holstered their weapons and got off of his property. Fitzgerald eventually went outside and talked to Relph.
The Witnesses Narrative
While Fitzgerald is not sure what exactly happened at the time of the shooting, neighbors who witnessed the entire incident have been coming forward, and their story is much different from Brewer’s narrative.
Witnesses claim that that the officer pounded on the glass door. He then waited a moment and opened the door and began going inside Fitzgerald’s residence without permission, or a warrant.
It was at that time the officer first met Midnite. Witnesses claim to have been able to see the officer kicking Midnite and even using his baton.
After entering the house without permission, and attacking Midnite, they moved outside. That is when the officer shot and killed Midnite.
Witnesses told TDH the officer who shot Midnite was Officer Devon Keith. As standard procedure for the State of Kansas, the police department has not released the name of the officer. According to Keith’s Facebook page, his occupation is “Safety Officer at Augusta Department Of Public Safety.” Keith graduated from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in June of 2015.
To add injury to insult, on Friday Fitzgerald was shocked when he was delivered two citations for the incident. One citation is for a “vicious animal at large,” and the second was for Midnite “attacking” officer Keith.
Justice for Midnite
Police shootings against dogs is a much larger problem than many realize. If a citizen kills a police K-9 they are charged with killing an officer, but when police kill citizen dogs, in this case a service dog, that is very rarely any accountability.
A Go Fund Me has been put together to aid Fitzgerald in purchasing Midnite’s ashes. Now, after being given the two citations, there is a good chance that some money may be needed for legal aid as well. You can donate to the campaign by clicking here!
TDH received these pictures of Midnite from Fitzgerald. We would like to note the pictures that show Midnite interacting with smaller animals.
Midnite after the Augusta Police went to Fitzgerald’s home.