State police won’t investigate fatal shooting of family pet

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PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, Va. -- Virginia State Police have chosen to decline a local prosecutor's request for a formal investigation into the death of a Farmville family's golden retriever.

"Everywhere you go to turn you get a dead end road," said Stephen Carwile, whose stepson owned Party, "Everyone's trying to put a stop to what is supposed to take place."

Prince Edward County Commonwealth's Attorney James Ennis said Monday that he  asked the Virginia State Police to investigate the shooting of an eight-year-old golden retriever named "Party."

On Tuesday State Police said they have decided not to investigate the death, according to Ennis, who said that all he could do was make the request.

CBS 6 asked A Virginia State Police Spokesperson why this decision was made.

"The incident was reviewed, consultation was done with the Commonwealth's Attorney, and the decision was made to decline," said spokesperson Corinne Geller.

When asked if she could elaborate on why, Geller said no.

The homeowner, Stephen  Carwile has started a petition addressed to Mark Herring, the Commonwealth Attorney General, that asks Herring to have state police investigate.

"We, the people expect and deserve answers from our elected officials, reguarding reckless and unecessary killings, especially when our amendment rights (ie. fourth) are violated," reads the petition. "Reckless shooting through homes and residential areas for inappropriate reasons, to wound a pet and leave him to die is unacceptable."

The dog was shot on June 27 by a Prince Edward Deputy who was serving a civil warrant at the family's home.

That deputy said he felt threatened by the animal.


“The dog was at the same level of the officer when he fired,” said homeowner Stephen Carwile, and indicated that the deputy was standing at the bottom of the deck.

“I come home to blood all over the place all over my porch,” said Carwile. He called the sheriff’s office after he couldn’t find Party, then saw his blood stained deck and the warrant.

Click here to read more on this story.

The petition is here:


  • Jay

    Hope the investigation and PROSECUTION is impartial, transparent and complete.
    WE, the tax payers, deserve that.

  • Charles

    Why would they investigate? He’s a cop…..Cop’s are above the law.In the State of Va.they can do whatever they want and get away with it..

  • Jennine Kinzer

    How heartbreaking for this family to lose their beautiful pet unnecessarily like this. Aren’t police officers aware that most dogs will bark & carry on when a stranger comes on their property. They are always shooting people’s dogs! It has to stop here. Good luck in your efforts Carwile family & very sorry for your loss.

      • Joseph Franklin Kelminski

        Mrs. Carwile my name is Joseph Kelminski i just posted a comment a little while ago that was very detailed with lots of very important information. I dont know why it was deleted or never posted but i am so upset about this situation and will back you all up with everything i can do to support you and let this poor pet seek out justice for being killed. I am a local resident and have some very valuable info i would love to pass on to you if you wouldn’t mind contacting me. I can be reached at 434-392-6675 Please i am very strong supporter of all animals at the facts of this matter need to be addressed. Please call so i can help. I looked at alot of factors on this and want to give you my advice. May god be with you and your family. And may party look down and no he was loved and well cared for. <3

  • Joseph Franklin Kelminski

    Ok lets try this once more. And see if it gets posted this time. Here are just a few of my thoughts. #1 If there was no criminal warrant for a arrest then why was the officer in the back yard of the property? (Trespassing) #2 If the dog was a house dog and was used to his family and not a stranger with a gun on his side, walkie talkie going off with other voices that may have scared the poor dog then it would be logical to bark at the officer in defense of his house and owners. #3 it is clear the dog was shot on the back porch, as if the dog was backed away in fear of it being harmed, and or PROVOKED, and shot on the porch (not on the ground in the middle of the front yard or driveway) all the way backed against the house based upon the pictures as if it were in fear. That leads me to #4 WHERE THE HELL WAS THE MACE SPRAY AT IF THE COP WHO IS SUPPOSED TO RUN AFTER THE FASTEST CRIMINALS, TACKLE DRUG DEALERS AND JUMP IN GROWN MAN FIGHTING TO STOP THEM, WAS FEARFUL OF A GOLDEN RETRIEVER!!!! BULL SHIT!!!!! ANOTHER POOR ANIMAL KILLED UNJUSTLY THAT WAS A MEMBER OF A FAMILY AND IS VERY MUCH MISSED!!!! :-( Thats some of what i posted earlier. Hopefully this time it stays?? PLEASE CONTACT ME THE CARWILE FAMILY. MY PRAYERS WILL STAY WITH YOU ALL.

  • Karen Carwile

    I would like to clarify a couple things:
    6/27 Deputy brutally shoots dog on deck
    7/3 Crewe Burkeville Journal paper front page covers bloody incident.
    7/9 Obtained copy of Sheriff Reed’s public press release stating “The incident was investigated by the Virginia State Police.” and “The deputy tried to get away from the dog but the animal lunged at him so he fired his weapon as required by his training.”.
    6/27-7/14 Excessive contact to Sheriff’s Dept. & Commonwealth Attorney, James Ennis, by the media, public & Carwiles asking what are you doing about this?
    7/14 WTVR6 News coverage of the shooting.
    7/15 Commonwealth’s Attorney states to Stephen Carwile that he will speak with the State Police about investigating this incident.
    7/22 James Ennis states, to The Farmville Herald, he spoke with State Police on 7/21 & “he’s supposed to call me sometime today with a decision on whether or not State Police will do the investigation.”.
    7/23 WTVR6 covers an update. State Police Won’t Investigate fatal shooting of family pet. Reporter gets stonewalled, minimal answers from authorities.
    7/23 The Farmville Herald covers “State Police Probe Sought In Shooting Death of Dog”. 26 days after the shooting and partially quote the Sheriff’s press release, not including that the Sheriff stated “The incident was investigated by the Virginia State Police.”. Which the Virginia State Police made a formal statement that they had NOT investigated the incident. The article did leave readers with the statement ” The State Police have now been officially asked to do so.”
    7/24 The Crewe Burkeville Journal covers “Family Says Golden Retriever’s Death By P.E. deputy Not Probed”. “After numerous calls with (Prince Edward County) Commonwealth’s Attorney James Ennis, he reluctantly acknowledged the conflicting statements and stated Tuesday, July 15, that he would have this investigated.” “The State Police are aware of the situation and are ready to investigate as soon as requested.”
    7/25 The Farmville Herald covers “State Police Decline Probe Request Over Fatal Shooting Of Dog By PE Deputy” James Ennis is quoted : “They considered this to be an administrative investigation, like…when an officer uses his firearm, and not a criminal matter that they would investigate.” Again they published a partial excerpt from the press release “”was charged by a vicious dog at a residence while attempting a civil paper service. The Deputy tried to get away from the dog but the animal lunged at him so he fired his weapon as required by his training. Animal Control was notified seeking medical assistance for the dog, but the animal later died.” The last sentence of the press release “The incident was investigated by the Virginia State Police.” was not printed.

    Thoughts to ponder…
    *If the Sheriff’s department found the discharging of this officers firearm questionable, or if they really wanted an investigation why did they wait 26 days, after being pushed by the media & community , to request an investigation?

    *Are there any policies of documentation when an officer discharges his issued weapon and it’s casings?

    *Is it acceptable for a Sheriff to make a public statement, blatantly giving the public false reassurance of the situation? ” The incident was investigated by the State Police.” The State Police officially stated they had NOT. How can we trust the head security of our county to make us feel safe, when the make statements based on “I thought” rather than they knew.

    *The Virginia State Police do not feel the discharge of a firearm in a felony is an administrative issue ??

    *If anyone was interested in investigating this, the bullet casings would not still be in my yard, & if the Sheriff thought the State Police were investigating from that night forward, why would they let evidence (dog’s body) be released from their control?
    From the moment you killed my son’s dog, you should have made sure you and your stories could hold up in the real world. This nonsense of shifting and talking about others, rather than being accountable for your own position is cowardly. Every day, every thing you say only makes it worse, until you make it better and do the right thing. Choose right or choose who you fall with.

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