COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) – The district attorney’s office in Adams County will not prosecute the man who killed a family’s dog on Saturday.
Kevin Burr shot his neighbor’s chocolate Lab, Clifford, as the dog’s owners were celebrating their daughter’s fifth birthday party.
Witnesses say Clifford jumped a fence and started fighting with Burr’s dog, which Burr was walking.
On Wednesday, the district attorney said his office did not think it could prove Burr needlessly killed the dog.
“Was there a justification in this individual killing Clifford the dog? In this case, the justification would be he was protecting his own dog,” said Dave Young, the district attorney for Adams and Broomfield counties.
Young said the testimony from witnesses, who said that Clifford attacked Burr’s dog, would make it difficult to prove Burr wasn’t justified in shooting the dog.
“Do I condone his actions? Absolutely not,” Young said at a news conference. “Can I prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed? I don’t think so. Clifford was pretty clearly attacking the other dog and had (it) literally by the throat.”
Burr, who has a concealed weapons permit, was carrying the gun legally.
Burr’s wife, Pam, told CBS4, “Our family feels horrible. It’s a tragic event that could have been avoided. We’re hoping for closure from both families.”
Clifford belonged to Ray and Emily Martinez.
“The way it happened was horrible,” Ray Martinez said Wednesday. “It’s a piece of us missing. It’s a piece we’re not going to get back.”
A neighbor, Chris Kuemerle, told CBS4 that his son and dog often play outside. He says that after the DA’s ruling he won’t allow that any longer.
“What if his dog were to attack my dog when my kids were there? I wouldn’t want someone firing a gun with my kids just feet away,” he said.