No charges will be brought against a man who shot his neighbor’s dog in an incident that has been the center of public outcry on social media from supporters calling for “Justice for Ludwig”.
Kane County State Attorney Jamie Mosser announced the decision on Wednesday, saying she had taken “dozens and dozens of emails and phone calls” seriously over the course of the ‘investigating the shooting, but said “on the basis of the facts and the law before me. I can not charge [Hal Phipps] as a result of this shooting. ”
“I think the evidence we have now shows that Mr Phipps feared for his safety and his life, and that it was legally justified to shoot Ludwig,” Mosser said at a press conference. “As such, no charges will be laid against Mr. Phipps, for the murder of Ludwig.”
Phipps, who is the husband of village president Eileen Phipps, told authorities he shot the dog, named Ludwig, when he entered his property last month, saying he “feared for his life”.
According to a police report from Wayne Police at the time, officers from the department and were called to the 5N600 block of Pearson Drive in Wayne with a gunshot report. There, they discovered that an owner had “fired several shots with a handgun at a neighbor’s two dogs which he claimed were on his property and were aggressively blocking his path to his dock, where he was standing, towards his residence “.
A dog was shot dead in the shooting, police said.
The owner of the dogs, Joe Petit, had let the animals swim in the Fox River with a woman at the house, he said.
“My boy Ludwig was shot and killed while picking up sticks in the Fox River,” Petit wrote on Facebook after the shooting. “It was a Dogo Argentinos who left behind his littermate, Philo. His murder was premeditated and justice must be done.”
A Facebook group called “Justice for Ludwig” has since gathered more than 3,000 supporters.
Officials say a witness said he heard loud barking near the river before a single shot was fired.
Mosser said because the woman was not near the dogs at the time of the shooting, and not in the direction of the shots, the charges of recklessly discharging a gun or reckless driving did not apply. not.
“The evidence through the video and the eyewitness is that the woman was some distance from Ludwig when he was shot,” Mosser said.
Mosser also noted that Phipps had reported that he feared the dogs due to a previous attack in June, which was still under investigation.
“I read the June 29 incident report and looked at the photos,” Mosser said. “After reviewing their report, I can say that the officer believed that the marks found on Mr. Phipps’ pants, in this case, as well as what appeared to be a puncture wound on his leg were consistent with a stroke. dog. ”
Mosser noted that a neighbor reported after the June 29 incident that Phipps said he would shoot the dogs if they returned to his property.
“This statement … does not negate the fear that Mr Phipps said he suffered as well as the evidence showing that the dogs barked aggressively and gently,” Mosser said. “This evidence supported his fear for his life was bodily safety.”
Mosser said that while she was saddened by the case, “I can only decide a case on the basis of the facts and the law before me.”
“I must do this in a fair and ethical manner, and the facts of the relevant law in this case show that I cannot indict Mr Phipps as a result of this shooting,” she said.
“As a dog owner myself, I am deeply saddened by Ludwig’s death.”