Sean Kendall came home from work last Wednesday to find his beloved dog, a friendly two-year-old Weimaraner named Geist, dead from a gunshot to the head. Kendall said the horrific experience was “traumatizing.”
But his trauma turned to anger when he learned how Geist died — shot in the head by a Salt Lake City, Utah, police officer who walked into Kendall’s backyard without a warrant and when the dog approached him, opened fire. And what was the police officer doing in Kendall’s yard in the first place? He was searching for a three-year-old child who had been reported missing by panicky parents, even though the toddler was found safe in his own home a half-hour after police said they got the report.
Police said the dog was “aggressive,” but Kendall isn’t buying their explanation. He says that Geist (pictured above) had never shown aggression before, and was, most likely, simply walking toward the officer out of curiosity about the stranger in the yard. In fact, he says, any dog would do the same thing.
“The idea that he attacked an officer — it just doesn’t make sense,” sad Kendall. “I believe my dog came out of the dog kennel to see what was going on, who was here, stopped right here, and those were his last moments.”
Kendall says that he has now lost his best friend. “He was a member of my family. He was just goofy and funny and he loved to play. He was a big cuddler, a big cuddler, and now he’s gone,” said Kendall. “You know we slept together, we went on hikes together.”
He says the sight of his dog lying dead from a bullet to the head is now “burned into my eyes.”
“Just the sheer sight of seeing my dog there — it was traumatizing,” Kendall said. “Now he’s dead. I have him wrapped up in a blanket in the back of my truck, and now I have to go bury him.”
Kendall met with Salt Lake City police at the city’s police headquarters on Monday, but came away frustrated that no action is being taken against the cop who killed his dog.
Kendall say the officer who killed Geist needs to pay with his job.
“The only thing that I would be satisfied with is having this officer terminated,” said Kendall. “I feel that his judgment was completely inappropriate.”
But the police defended the officer’s actions, saying there were “extenuating circumstances.”
“A child is missing,” said Salt Lake City Police Sergeant Greg Wilking. “If you’re a parent, you would want us to look everywhere for your child. We wouldn’t want to leave any stone unturned.”
The boy was reported missing at 4:30 pm, police said. He was found safe and asleep in his parent’s basement at 5 pm.
The lawyer for Sean Kendall, Brett Boulton, says his client plans to sue the city, because “That’s what we do in the legal system. We pay people money when bad things happen.”