Augusta police chief gets death threats after officer shoots, kills service dog

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AUGUSTA, Kan. The Augusta police chief is getting death threats after an officer shot and killed a veteran's service dog..

Police say the incident happened after animal control and the officer responded to a complaint about the dog last week, and the dog charged at the animal control officer.

It's not just the police chief who's getting death threats - Chief Tyler Brewer says the officer who shot the dog is getting his life threatened too, and those threats are coming from all across the country.

It has the police department taking extra precautions.

"I received a phone call at home and someone told me I needed to take care of the officer that did the shooting, or my family and I would be killed," Brewer said. "I've been a lot more careful in the way I've conducted my business around my residents because some of these have come all the way from New Jersey, Saint Louis, California - you just never know.

About a dozen people gathered across from the police department for a vigil tonight, to support Alan Fitzgerald, the veteran whose dog was killed.

They were also protesting in hopes of getting more information on what led up to the shooting.

The police chief says when officers responded to a neighbor's complaint about "Midnite," the German Shepard charged at the door and knocked it open before attacking.

Some witnesses say it was the officer who opened the door.

"The truth behind that needs to be found out. What happened after that, that comes into play, but whether that door was opened by that officer was the main importance here," said Eden Fuson, one of the event organizers.

The sheriff's office was also present, to make sure both protesters and the community stayed safe.

Fitzgerald posted publicly on Facebook Wednesday saying, "Due to the threats of violence and the overall disregard for others rights that have been associated with this vigil, I will not be attending. I want Midnite's passing to be a peaceful vehicle for change within the system. There has been enough hurt."

The police chief says he would like to help the veteran get another service dog.

"I don't blame him for being upset that his dog was killed. That's gotta be an awful thing for a person who has served our country, and then been through what he's been through. I feel for him. I've been praying for him," Brewer said.