Park County deputy who shot dog in neighbor's driveway under investigation

BAILEY, Colo. - Two investigations were underway Wednesday into the shooting of a 16-year-old German Shepherd near Bailey by an off-duty Park County deputy near his home.

The Park County Sheriff's Office said it started a "supervisory investigation" into possible policy and procedure violations by the off-duty deputy and has asked the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office to conduct an independent investigation of the shooting by deputy Matthew Jackmon.

The family that owned the dog were attending a wedding in Denver on Saturday when Jackmon -- a next door neighbor -- shot their dog.

Neighbors in the Friendship Ranch subdivision told the family they saw the deputy poke the elderly dog with a stick a few times, walk back to his house, return with a gun and shoot the dog point blank in the head.  They also said the deputy picked up the dog's carcass and dump it in a nearby ditch.

It wasn't clear if the dog responded when it was poked or what the motivation was for shooting the dog.

When the family came home, they noticed their dog wasn't in the yard and started calling for him.  That's when the deputy came over and told them not be alarmed by blood in their driveway because he shot a coyote while they were away.  They quickly realized the "coyote" was actually their 16-year-old German Shepherd.

After a search, the dog's body was found in a nearby ditch. The deputy apparently didn't report the shooting to the sheriff's office.

On Wednesday, the Park County Sheriff's Office said the deputy has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Techmeyer told The Flume newspaper in Bailey that the investigation began Tuesday at the request by the Park County Sheriff’s Office.

"This is a common practice to ensure complete transparency during the course of the investigation," he explained.

The Flume tried to contact Jackmon for comment but was unsuccessful.