Missouri Mayor Resigns After Cop Shot Blind, Deaf Dog That He Was Called To Help

A Missouri mayor has resigned after a police officer fatally shot a man’s deaf and blind Shih Tzu when the dog escaped his backyard.

The departure was announced Saturday by the city of Sturgeon after disturbing body camera footage captured the officer repeatedly shooting the dog, who was named Teddy, as he stumbled around in a woman’s open backyard on Sunday, May 19.

“Like you we were just as appalled by what we saw,” Sturgeon Alderman Seth Truesdell said in a statement. “The actions of the Officer involved are not the values and beliefs of the residents of Sturgeon or the board of Alderman.”

Teddy, who was deaf and blind, was stumbling around a woman's backyard when he was fatally shot by an officer on Sunday, May 19.
Teddy, who was deaf and blind, was stumbling around a woman's backyard when he was fatally shot by an officer on Sunday, May 19. source supplied

Truesdell also shared his temporary appointment as mayor after Kevin Abrahamson resigned from the position on Friday.

This followed the city’s Facebook page initially publicly defending the officer’s use of deadly force, saying “the officer acted within his authority.”

The officer, who was identified by Truesdell and local news outlets as Myron Woodson, has been placed on leave until further notice, and the neighboring Boone County Sheriff’s Department has been contacted about an investigation, according to Truesdell’s statement.

“I personally give my condolences to the owners of Teddy,” Truesdell said. “I know nothing I do now or in the future will bring Teddy back. The board of Aldermen and myself are committed to helping the City of Sturgeon heal.”

Details about Woodson’s job status and an investigation into the shooting were not entirely clear. A Boone County Sheriff’s spokesperson told HuffPost on Tuesday that it is not involved in an investigation related to the incident, and Truesdell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Sturgeon Police Department also did not respond to emailed requests for comment, and its voicemail box was listed as full as of Tuesday afternoon.

Woodson’s body camera footage showed him shooting Teddy after a woman found him stumbling around in her backyard. On Friday, she told HuffPost that she called the city for help locating the dog’s owner out of concern for his wellbeing.

“The dog drank water from a bowl I provided and licked my arm and leg. He was in no way a threat,” said the woman, who declined to share her name publicly out of fear of retaliation.

The dog’s owner, Nicholas Hunter, told HuffPost on Friday that Teddy escaped his backyard kennel while Hunter was out with friends and that he was on his way to retrieve Teddy after receiving a call from another friend when the dog was killed.

When Hunter confronted Woodson about what he had done, Hunter said the officer told him he thought Teddy looked injured or abandoned and wanted “to put him down.”

“He carried his head sideways and he walked funny because he can’t see or hear. The vet diagnosed him with a neurological issue, which was the cause of him going deaf and blind,” Hunter said of Teddy, who was 5.

The woman who found Teddy told HuffPost that she submitted a formal complaint to the city that demanded Woodson’s removal and reasoned that his quick turn to violence shows that he’s a public threat.

“The officer should not be allowed to be an officer. He struggles with power,” she said.