Wilfred Europe, deputy, not charged in Ziggy the dog's shooting, attorney frustrated

wilfred europe 205x205.jpg
Big photos below.
In January, we told you about the shooting of Ziggy, a border collie mix, by Wilfred Europe, an Adams County deputy seen here who'd previously shot another dog and a driver in separate incidents.

Ziggy's owner, Jeff Fisher, maintains that the shooting was unjustified, but Dave Young, DA for the 17th Judicial District, will not charge Europe with a crime -- a choice that frustrates Fisher's attorney. But she sees hope in a proposed bill to require that officers undergo dog-related training.

When asked about Young's decision letter in the Europe case, the Animal Law Center's Jennifer Edwards says, "I'm not surprised, but of course, I'm disappointed." However, she adds, "it doesn't deter my client or anyone else from continuing to seek justice for Ziggy."

Here's how Edwards described what led to Ziggy's death in the days following the incident, which took place at around 8 p.m. January 14 near the intersection of 54th and Tennyson.

"My client...was working late," she told us. "He owns a commercial-door business and he had Ziggy with him, as he always did. Then he felt a breeze coming through the door, which was strange, because he knew the security gate was locked. He got up to close the door, but when he started to do it, an officer forced his way in and put him at gunpoint."

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Jeff Fisher.
Fisher "immediately dropped to the ground," she continued, "and as he did, Ziggy slipped through the door. Jeff called out to him a couple of times, and on the second time, Ziggy started back -- and as soon as he did that, another officer outside pulled his weapon and shot Ziggy without any reason at all. Ziggy dropped after the first hit, so I'm not sure why he would have shot round two and round three."

This action shocked Fisher, Edwards noted. "He was distraught, sobbing, upset." But rather than offering any reassuring words, she quoted one of the officers as saying, "Tell him to calm down. He can get another dog."

In addition, Fisher was not allowed to "go to the dog and render any care, see if he was breathing, get him to a vet," Edwards maintained. "They told him to sit still, said he wasn't allowed to move or make any phone calls."

When Fisher was granted permission to check on Ziggy (he's unsure about how much time had passed, but feels it could have been twenty or thirty minutes), the dog was dead.

The kicker? The deputies were at the wrong address. "They were responding to an alarm going off a whole street block away," Edwards says. "They didn't even have a reason to be there. They busted in the door, came in unannounced, shot his dog, didn't apologize -- and they're not even at the right place."

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Photo by Diana Schele
Ziggy.
From early on, authorities disputed numerous elements of the Fisher-Edwards account. For example, Donald Sisson, an attorney representing Europe, told CBS4 that the alarm originated from the same multi-business complex that housed Fisher's operation, and deputies were in the midst of searching the entire thing. He also said that Ziggy charged at Europe, barking, growling and snapping his teeth, and continued to pursue him as he backpedaled approximately 25 feet. Fearing he was going to be bitten, he fired twice -- not the three times mentioned by Edwards -- and killed Ziggy.

Sisson also confirmed that Europe had shot another dog in the line of duty; the animal survived, and the deputy wasn't disciplined as a result of his actions. Likewise, he received no punishment after shooting and killing forty-year-old Don Cambron during a traffic stop last year. Cambron is said to have been reaching for a pellet gun after he was pulled over, prompting Europe to fire.

In his decision letter, Young didn't address Europe's previous experiences with gunplay, focusing instead on what happened the evening of the 14th from the viewpoints of Europe, Fisher and another deputy on the scene.

Continue for more about the death of Ziggy, including a video and the decision letter.


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19 comments
Sabrina Ruiz
Sabrina Ruiz

Yes!! It could have been a kid. The man that lost his 4-legged child is devastated.

jayem
jayem

If the department took any actions against europe he would claim racial prejudice and sue, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Its the new trick to early retirement for non caucasion Police personell.

 Its an easy study, and its happening everywhere. You better hire them and you better not fire them.

There is NO way around this, He even keeps trying and CANNOT get fired. Im not trying to be racist Im just not trying to be politically correct.


Lindsey Asselin
Lindsey Asselin

Absolutely should have been charged. And shouldn't be a police officer.

Laurie Lynn FitzGerald
Laurie Lynn FitzGerald

Did anyone notice in the article that the officer did not identify himself as a police officer when he 'forced his way in and put him (Jeff Fisher) at gunpoint.'? Anyone coming through my door after hours late may be facing not only my dog, but my gun. Protect your own safety and that of your family.

Tim Tindle
Tim Tindle

Are you ficking kidding me! Do they realize why people hate cops more and more? It used to be "serve and protect" now it is "search and seize" . This pig is a terrorist!

Tim Tindle
Tim Tindle

Are you ficking kidding me! Do they realize why people hate cops more and more? It used to be "serve and protect" now it is "search and seize" . This pig is a terrorist!

Mike Milos
Mike Milos

Fine line between a cop and a criminal!

Mike Milos
Mike Milos

Fine line between a cop and a criminal!

Megan Haenny
Megan Haenny

Too bad, we lose such faith in our law enforcement because of this type of thing. It's the opposite of protect and serve...

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

"They didn't even have a reason to be there. They busted in the door, came in unannounced, shot his dog, didn't apologize -- and they're not even at the right place."

These are the people to which you pay "protection money."

Ryan Gregory
Ryan Gregory

Fuck yeah.... But we all knew he wasn't going too!!

Chris McDonald
Chris McDonald

Seems that over the past few years, cops in CO have been able to do pretty much whatever the fuck they want, with absolutely no consequences. Until the public stands up to these over-testosteroned cowards, and forces city councils to hold them accountable for their misdeeds, and stop thinking of thugs with badges as goddamn HEROS, nothing with change. They tell anyone who will listen that they are held to a ' higher standard', but that is just lip service to calm the sheep. This fucker needs to be tried for animal cruelty, assault with a deadly weapon, and breaking and entering. So does his fucking partner. Never, ever trust a cop.

Shelia Canfield-Jones
Shelia Canfield-Jones

YES They went to the wrong house and shot a guys dog. They had no reason to even be at his door.

Suni Daze
Suni Daze

YES . AND the officer in the Commerce city shooting as well . How are these cops going to learn ANYTHING from just SLIDING their way thru a job . FOR SHAME on these officers !!!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Cops = trigger-happy cowards

Typical.

flightsimulator
flightsimulator

The degree of power which law enforcement agencies wield necessitates  a standard of conduct that is extremely rigid. When poor judgment, negligence, or any err in mission is present the response needs to reflect the magnitude of trust law enforcement enjoys. Cases like this, where law enforcement plainly failed to meet an acceptable standard and face no consequence, rightly erodes public faith. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@flightsimulator ... American "culture" worships Cops as Heroes.

Until that changes, society will get the trigger-happy violent homicidal thugs with badges and guns that it deserves.


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