A Fort Worth police deputy chief who faces an animal cruelty charge for shooting and fatally wounding a German shepherd last week initially lied to officers and a sheriff’s deputy, telling them that he was not involved in the shooting, an arrest warrant affidavit states.
On Monday, however, Kenneth Flynn and his attorney met with special investigation detectives, and Flynn admitted shooting the dog. Flynn read a prepared statement, saying he shot at the dog with his city-issued .45-caliber Glock 30 after learning in a phone call from his sobbing wife that their cat was dead and being told by his neighbor that a German shepherd was standing over the dead cat, according to the the affidavit.
Flynn surrendered Monday night at the Tarrant County Jail on a cruelty to an animal warrant obtained in the case and was immediately released upon posting a $1,000 bond. He has been stripped of his gun and badge and placed on detached duty from pending the criminal and internal investigations.
In his statement to investigators, Flynn said he was driving home from work in his city-issued black Tahoe on Sept. 29 when he got the news from his wife about their cat and talked to his neighbor, Doug Goodlett, who told Flynn that he had followed the German shepherd to Oak Grove Road East.
Flynn drove to that location, spotted the German shepherd and a pit bull, and got out of his vehicle, the affidavit states he told investigators.
Feeling unsafe because the dogs were standing at different angles from him and were “eyeing him,” Flynn said he got back into his SUV and followed the German shepherd. When the dog stopped in a vacant field with no houses behind it, he said he fired four to five rounds out his SUV window at the dog but didn’t know if the dog was hit.
He told investigators that he then drove home.
The German shepherd, named Bentley, and the pit bull had escaped from their owner’s fenced back yard earlier that day, the dogs’ owner previously told the Star-Telegram.
Bentley was found dead on the evening of Sept. 30 behind a barn with a gunshot wound to the abdomen, the affidavit states.
‘No, you’re good’
The shooting occurred around 6 p.m. on Sept. 29 in the 1300 block of Oak Grove Road East in south Fort Worth.
Three Fort Worth officers — identified in the affidavit as M. Bauer, D. Jwanowski and A. Ramsay — had been in the area when they heard multiple gunshots and soon learned from dispatchers that a 911 call had been made about shots fired, the affidavit states.
The officers located two witnesses, who told them that a man inside a black SUV with a spotlight on the driver’s door had fired several shots at a black German shepherd. The man had told one of the witnesses that he was going to shoot the dog because it had killed his cat.
The officers had left to search the area for the black SUV when they encountered a Tarrant County sheriff’s deputy, Chris Carmichael.
Carmichael told them he was headed to a call involving a cat that had been killed by a dog. They followed the deputy to the home on Smallwood Drive, where they spotted a black SUV parked at a neighboring home and Flynn standing in the front yard.
When Bauer asked Flynn if he had shot at any dogs, Flynn “said he was not involved,” the affidavit states.
Two of the officers then began to visually inspect Flynn’s vehicle while Jwanowski approached Flynn and started a conversation, the affidavit states.
“Jwanowski asked Flynn if they need to ‘look further’ and Flynn told him, ‘No, you’re good. You don’t need to keep looking,’ ” the affidavit states.
In his later interview with detectives, Flynn also initially denied exchanging words with the witness, a woman, he had tried to wave off but then admitted he had told her that “this dog has killed my cat and will kill again.”
Tracey Knight, a police spokeswoman, said Wednesday that the allegation that Flynn lied is being investigated administratively by internal affairs.
‘I’m not saying anything’
Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, a dog or coyote that has recently attacked a domestic animal may be killed by any person witnessing the attack or by the attacked animal’s owner if that owner had knowledge of the attack.
Flynn’s attorney has said the deputy chief was acting within Texas law when he shot the “dangerous” dog who had mauled his cat and said Flynn’s arrest “reeks of politics.”
According to the affidavit, it was Flynn’s neighbor, Doug Goodlett, who had called 911 regarding a dog killing a cat.
But when interviewed by Carmichael at the scene, Goodlett refused to tell the deputy who was out shooting at dogs.
“I have to live here; I’m not saying anything,” Goodlett responded, according to the affidavit.
When the deputy asked Flynn if he had been out chasing the dogs, “Flynn replied that he had just gotten home.”
When later contacted by special investigation Detective S.J. Waters, Goodlett at first refused to answer her questions, stating repeatedly, “I don’t know nothing about nothing.”
She was finally able to draw from Goodlett that he did not see the dog kill Flynn’s cat but “did see the dog standing over the cat as if it had just happened,” the affidavit states.
Goodlett “said his neighbor was holding the cat in her hands and he could see the blood,” the affidavit states.
Goodlett declined to comment when contacted by the Star-Telegram on Wednesday afternoon.