Top-ranking U.S. marshal under investigation after pet dog shot in Fishers

A top-ranking U.S. marshal in Southern Indiana is under investigation for shooting a dog in Fishers, Ind., Tuesday night.

Chief Deputy William “Buzz” Brown told officers with the Fishers Police Department that he arrived home from work at 11:15 p.m. on Feb. 26, when “a small dog came out of the bushes and began to bark” at him.

Brown stated that is when he backed up and fired two shots at the terrier.

The dog, Reese, was taken to an area veterinary clinic and treated for a gunshot wound to her front left leg and a fracture to her rear left leg. A witness said Reese is a 7-year-old, 18-pound rat terrier. Veterinarians had to amputate her front leg because of her injuries. The owner is now facing up to $10,000 in veterinarian bills.

Fishers Police will not charge Brown for the shooting, claiming it was self-defense.

“Obviously, Mr. Brown perceived it as a threat,” said Tom Weger, a Fishers Police Spokesman. “He was fearful he was going to be bitten so he pulled his handgun and shot the dog.”

U.S. Marshal Kerry Forestal told Fox59 News that Brown remains on the job.  He said Brown has filed a written report on the incident, which will be sent to the Office of Inspection at the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington, D.C. The office will then write a report, which will be forwarded to the Firearms Review Board.

“I trust Chief Deputy Brown’s ability to make decisions on a daily basis and I continue to trust him,” said Forestal.

According to Forestal, Brown must qualify with his firearm twice a year.

Brown, a veteran federal agent, has been the chief deputy of the Southern District of Indiana for the past three years and has been with the U.S. Marshal Service for 10 years.

Some residents said they don’t know how anyone would shoot at their neighbor’s dog.

“I call them more of less just lap dogs,” said Mitch Behrends, who lives nearby. “They tend to want to nip at your ankle but I never felt any threat from them.”

90 comments

    • TNovak

      I know the feeling. Those little yappy dogs can be real annoying, but you don't take out a freakin gun and shoot them, even though you'd like to.

    • Tlc

      Ferrett, I would be more scared of your Ignorant attitude than the dog. You sound like as much of a coward as the cop. Fearful of a lap dog, bawk bawk bawk!

    • Samantha

      It isn't reported here, but the dog was on a retractable leash and with 2 people! I'm sure all the facts will be brushed under the rug so this guy can continue to be a hero. I hope he's really proud of himself.

    • Ablack

      What a horrible way to view defenseless animals. There are a lot of people that make racket at midnight with music and wake my 17 month old daughter up but that doesn't mean I would want to shoot them!

    • Pauline Moon

      really?, you would shoot a dog that was on the end of a flex leash with it's owner hanging on to the other end….then you to are a coward.

  • Jeff

    This is just plain ridiculous, if not criminally stupid. Who in the world would be threatened by this dog in an urban environment? Hell, we have coyote's running around the golf course just off of our back yard, but don't feel a need to shoot them!!!

    • Hamilton

      Who? A chickenshit like him, that's who. No wonder people are worried about civilians with concealed carry licenses. Look how reckless the cops are, and they are supposed to know what they are doing.

      • Mike

        You lose me when you dare to compare government thugs,licensed to have bad attitudes, with responsible civilians.

      • Guest

        You need to realize that many citizens carry because of police behavior like this. The Second Amendment was written by people who saw abuse by government personnel on a regular basis. Time has passed but the nature of man has not. After bisard and reading stories like this, I wonder about the people wearing a badge. Seems like we are seeing more and more of conduct un-becoming an officer.

  • robert

    you dont think a yell would of scared the dog back home…or a warning shot. big chicken.oh but wait if i shot a police dog i would be in jail. gee coper just kick the damn thing. these cops just want a reason to pull the trigger anymore.wonder why everybody wants a gun. shoot my dog and see what happens…

    • Anonymous

      i have contacted Jane Velez Mitchell on hln to expose this marshall And air the footage of this atrocious act

  • Fae

    OMG that dog is nothin but a furry walkin football for cryin out loud… Im with jeff on this one… got coyotes runnin around here but dont feel the need to shoot them.. you want to feel threatened mr. u.s. marshal come face to face with my pit bull… she dont bite unless you come into our yard uninvited… but hey its just defense right….

    • Caitlin

      I suggest you read about Kincaid, the pittie shot in his own fenced-in yard because he bark scarily at Baltimore police officers, before you start arrogantly challenging them to come to your yard. Pit bulls are the most misunderstood of all breeds at this moment, and exacerbating that stereotype is disgusting.

  • Rosé

    Coming home from work? Or a bar? You shoot a little dog, your in law enforcement for how long? What if the bullet had ricochet ? Maybe the guy needs to turn in his badge and gun !!! It’s not like it was a Pit bull on steroids and sounds like Fishers PD was protecting one of their own.

    • Caitlin

      Pit bulls aren't even that scary. I own and rescue several and they tend to be seriously misunderstood because they have a scary-looking face and the media portrays them as monsters when it's really the people who own them who are the monsters. Police officers need to be properly trained on how to deal with a dog because I've been hearing more and more of them shooting beloved pets simply because they "felt threatened". This is justifiable?? If I shoot a 2-year-old child for screaming at me, would it be considered justifiable too?

  • g2-c99b446c13a5e9761c87b255bc7606b6

    Anyone shocked hasn't been paying attention to how cops operate for years now.

    Shooting dogs is a MATTER OF COURSE for "Law Enforcement Officers" now.

    I know I feel safer knowing these BRAVE men are out there protecting us.

  • Concerned Resident

    Absolutely reckless behavior and response from someone who is in charge of several other US Marshalls. His response demonstrates a total lack of situational awareness and jeopardized his own and neighbors' safety. If an 18" tall dog is such a threat where he has to draw and fire his weapon then he shouldn't be in the position he is in. This is not the actions of a man in a leadership role. I can only imagine what his fellow workers think of this. What a total embarrassment!! I feel sorry for the neighbors who have to now live in fear of a person firing at will on pets without any repercussions. More so I certainly wouldn't trust him as a partner if I were working with him. Would a citizen or other resident be treated the same had they shot and maimed a neighbors pet? I hope the lady files suit to recoup her loss.

  • Concerned Dog Owner

    I agree with Jeff. We as citizens can't protect our own children and dogs from coyotes running around, but allow all Peace Officer's to shoot and kill any and all dogs who bark at them. I believe that maybe sending Marshal Brown through K-9 division training might help him over come his fear of the tiny pooch…..

  • Sherie Brown

    Yah! right sure the dog did he had a bad day so since he couldn't kick a dog He'd just shoot one in stead did anyone other then him confirm this for a fact uh NOT!

  • Boss

    While I understand this was not a large animal we do have laws requiring dog owners to maintain responsible control of their animals. This is not a justification for what happened but the dog owner maintains some responsibility because their dog was from both sides story at large and on this cowboys yard…

    • Really

      It says the dog came out of the bushes…. this does not mean the dog was not in its own yard. I have several neighbors who use an electric fence to keep their dog in the yard. The facts aren't there for you to make your comment. Even if this dog did happen to get out of his yard, pick it up and take it back to your neighbor. That's what my neighbor did when my little terrior got out from in between the slats in my fence. Thank God they didn't shoot her.

      • Anonymous

        I live a building over from this punk and all I have to say if he messes with my doggies he’s the one that’s going to be missing a leg ! I hope your reading this mr Marshall scumbag! Why can’t he be made to move out of here !!!

    • J. L. Holley

      I do agree about the laws, just as the law against firing a "firearm within certain jurisdictions".
      If the bush was in the officers yard, it was dark, how was he to know immediately it wasn't a large and aggressive dog?
      Believe me, I am VERY against the "police shooting of dogs" as it has been rampant as of late, but every time I read these stories, it pains me as they are so one sided and lack "SO much information" as to the real incident.
      As for shooting twice, I know, as a gun advocate, a double tap is quite common and is often an instinct when in the 'feeling of danger".
      I have been in so many different situations, I don't know that I can say I know for sure how I would react in every given one, if there was the slightest of unsure feelings, as these things aren't staged or practiced. When in a competition, you usually know, or "have a idea" of the situation, but in real life, it differs greatly at any given moment.
      I do believe, however, that since the "police shooting of dogs" has become so common, and that yes, many times, it is NOT warranted, that every law enforcement personnel, and yes EVERY ONE of them, should be required to attend a class, about dogs, about people, and I am sure i could think of a few others.
      If half the doctors in the world, had a bedside manner even similar to the attitude of most of the officers I have been around, they would have little to NO clientele…………
      The difference, we can fire our doctor and find another, but a ill mannered cop, or one that was bullied and is now in power with his gun and badge? It isn't as easy to remove them from our streets. THIS is a HUGE problem I feel.
      I still feel every officer should be elected, it isn't a "right to be a cop", it should be a privilege!

    • Beth

      Did you not read the comments above yours? The dog was on a LEASH with not just one but TWO people! So, the dog was NOT 'at large'. And I know when I walk my dog not to expect him to stay on the sidewalk or street…he's going to sniff and explore and go into people's yards and maybe even bark at people we pass. So should the cop that lives around the corner from me shoot my dog because he barks and/or walks in his yard? Is he justified in doing so? NO!!!!!! Cops are getting trigger happy where family pets are concerned, and this is just another unjustified shooting by a trigger happy cop.

    • LovelyLady

      That's no excuse to fire a gun at a dog… Call animal control duh, that's what they are there for!!! Then the owner pays fines to get their dog back. I'm sure for a "Police Officer" that shouldn't be to hard.

  • Dave

    A life threatening rat terrier? Really?

    What a crock. If this was a "civilian" doing the shooting, charges would have been filed and they'd be sitting in the slammer. But since it's a ball-less LEO, he skates. Not to mention a 10k vet bill for the owner of the dog.

    Should the dog have been locked up? Probably, but you can't tell me a "punt" back over the bushes wouldn't have been a better option.

  • Melissa Sweeney

    That’s positively absurd! Threatened by an ankle biter. Trust me, my cat could do more damage than that terrier. It appears like a power drunk bully shot that dog

      • Caitlin

        Learn to read. "Power drunk" means: a person with delusions of grandeur, power, wealth, etc. Melissa also added an "appears", which means she is stating an opinion on what the story looks like to her. Seriously, use your critical reading skills you should have learned in kindergarten. I completely agree with her analysis of the story.

  • jjj

    He's a bad example, not all law enforcement get off on shooting people's pets. Some are animal lovers themselves and exercise good judgement about which animals are a serious threat.

    Then there's the issues the dog was running loose, and having a cop for a neighbor are things you should avoid.

  • Guest

    Hopefully we will see follow up stories about this investigation, like what was he doing in the hours before this, who is doing the investigation, and what did they find. Since this is a US marshall, I will be writing my congressmen and encourage others to do the same.

  • Shadow8088

    I understand that this was an apartment complex and there's no real "my yard" but you see this all the time.. go boot up youtube… cops entering someone's property, sometimes unannounced, and they shoot the owner's dog that came out to see wtf was going on….

    Justify shooting a rat terrier to me.. please.. your life was in mortal danger? you worthless excuse for a human being. a kick, or your pepper spray would have more than sufficed. I promise you, if it had been a normal citizen we'd be in prison and our guns confiscated….

    • Brian

      Shadow,

      Hmmm does he have pepper spray? Since you seem to know every item he had on him that day. Read. He is a US Marshal, a top ranking at that.

      • Mettaintheworld

        EXACTLY…Brian…give me a break, we ALL know they carry pepper spray and even if they don't…what kind of PUS*Y is scared for their life of a little 'terrier'. A good foot stomp and loud yell would have sufficed. You're just as sick and twisted as this A-hole.

  • patty

    Threatened what a joke. A braking dog ( small) . If anyone else did that ( who was not a cop) would go to jail. And they want to know why we don't trust cops. This really brought me. I can see it if it was a big dog coming at him but it was a small dog barking at him, he must be a thug and it make me think he just another cop bully.

  • Fellow Citizen

    If you don't know Deputy Brown and you were't there then you shouldn't judge him. Why don't you look up all the accomodations he has received and all the criminals he has put away for your protection! He has been in the media before and all were for promoting justice.

  • Mary

    The news is drama. They put only certain details and facts (some of which false or vague) up. Idiots like yourselves decide to make an opinion on what little Is known or what is "only" reported. The FACT that the dog was "not-controlled" and biting at his foot after he continually tried to kick it off would make cause me to shoot as well especially if (no matter how big or small the dog is) was biting at my child or coming after them . Were you there? No. So you only know what facts (if true facts at that) the news has reported. Idiots. I think it is quite funny when ignorants start name calling and pointing the finger like they were standing in the midst. You guys look like complete dummies. Small cats scratch, attack and can leave you looking like you got mauled by a bear but because it is small I guess you aren't supposed to "protect" yourself from it. Believe what you see… none of what you hear.

    • april

      Small cats can leave a person looking like he got mauled by a bear? You don't actually know what a bear is, do you?

    • Chef

      Mary you need to take some of your own advice! You talk about other posters calling the U.S. Marshal names and making up facts about the case…so why is it ok for you to call them idiots and dummies? Why are you adding details to the story that were not reported? You said in your post the dog was, "biting at his foot after he continually tried to kick it off." Where did you see that? Were YOU there? Lastly, if you think a small cat can leave you looking like you got mauled by a bear then you madam are a moron. Just to be fair though, I don't claim my statement that you are a moron to be a proven fact, I'm just really, really sure you are…

      • Anon

        As said before had you had an IQ high enough to comprehend. The news reports "certain" things. Majority of the time they report the things that they know will start drama… when stupid ignorant people like yourselves 'read' you believe everything. Remember believe none of what you hear ….. and only 1/2 of what you see. It may have been a bit much to say but a cat can disfigure a face yet they are weightless small animals. Get the picture.

      • Stuart

        We judge this in the context of other cases where the police have sworn black and blue a dog was viciously charging them and had to be shot "in self defence" only to have a neighbours CCTV footage come to light and show officers 20 feet away shooting a cowering, cornered dog. The assumption that police can do no wrong is just as offensive and biased as the assumption they are always wrong. What is needed is independent investigation and assessment.

        As for shooting simply on the basis of "feeling threatened" – many of us feel threatened when we are approached by groups of others in the street. Our phobias do not justify putting people at risk by needlessly using a firearm with other people in the potential danger zone (even an accurate shot can ricochet off bone).

    • LMC

      Good for you and your response Mary. I personally know Buzz Brown and he's not arrogant and I believe he would only act appropriately. Unless folks know all the details, they shouldn't speak!

  • Michaelb

    Mary, it was his neighbor's dog, eighteen pounds and he was not on duty. How does the rest of the world without a sidearm handle a situation like that?

    • J.L. Holley

      How was he to "know for a fact" it was the neighbors dog? It was dark, on or off duty, matters not. I don't agree it is right, but Mary makes a good point. If you were not there, you don't know all the facts, keep the name calling out of it until otherwise "factually necessary". The Media is always a spin, and of course they will portray him a hero, even if there were some "black marks" in his file….
      I am dead against shooting a dog for no reason, but as a civilian, if I felt I or my child or an immediate pedestrian was in danger, I will shoot. As a civilian, if you and your gun are legal, "self defense" is a case. I have been around some very aggressive dogs in my lifetime, and have always had animals in my home all my life, but there can be situations, that warrant defense, just as if against another human being.
      As for the rest of the world without a sidearm, pray you get a couple good kicks in quickly, or better yet? ARM YOURSELF!

      Bottom line! Lack of facts, AGAIN, could make a "good cop" look bad, or let a "bad cop" get away with…….well, murder, or almost………….

    • Mary

      Let's see. Kick the dog off as much as they can . Try to run. The dog chases… the owner ends up paying all of the persons medical bills because. Its in the news ALL the time.

  • goldensmiles

    Lots of comments here dissing this marshall, but I bet you will all be glad he’s around if,God forbid, packs of vicious tea-cup poodles start roaming the streets.

  • Pat

    Is this the same guy who gets away with illegally pulling people over just because he thinks he can. Talk about above the law

  • TNovak

    This guy should be relieved of his duties. How can you have a guy with a badge out there who doesn't have the common sense not to pull his gun and shoot at a small dog, even though it may be real annoying and ran at him. What if the bullet ricocheted and hit someone? If a pit bull or a doberman was coming at him, I could see it, but a lap dog? He could have just kicked it away.

  • I wouldBeatYourAss

    What a piece of crap,this loser should not be allowed to have a gun. If it was you or me they would have arrested and charged us.try to shoot my pet you pig!What a big puss you are.

  • Anonymous

    Wonder what his BAC was at that time of night?!? Seriously….he (10yr veteran US Marshall) was scared of an 18pound lap dog….glad he wasn't scared of the shadow of someone walking to their car….a shame

  • Samantha

    The dog was on a retractable leash!! Why isn't this information reported in the news article?? Plus there were two people with the dog! What a hero this guy is!

  • Beth

    I'm really frustrated at all the people not reading other people's comments before posting their own. The dog WAS ON A LEASH, not AT LARGE!! TWO people were walking him! This was unjustified!! I had a rat terrier. Yeah, he barked, but if you walked up to him, he'd either run and hide or pee on himself. Real dangerous….

  • rdm0527

    really needed to shoot a 7 year old dog? i thought it was illegal to fire a firem arm in the city, did they check him for drugs or alcohol like they would the rest of us? what a crock, what are they covering now

  • suzy

    only reason anyone cares is because it happened in Fishers…… the US Marshell should be FIRED….

  • Grandma Caesar

    Another steroid skinhead gangster in uniform. You proud, chicken boy? Did shootin’ that little dog “save your life”? You. Are. Despicable.

  • Mike

    I'd like to see what any of you tough guy's would do if it were you ? 11:00 PM dark, a lot of bushes and you hear Barking no way to tell if it's a BIG Dog or a SMALL Dog, until it's ontop of you ! Do you do nothing and take the chance the dog won't bite ? or do you protect yourself and stop the dog BEFORE it bites ? So you dont have to go thru all the RABIES Shots ? and only god knows what infections ? Hospital Bills ? Nobody asked where was the Owner ? Why wasn't the dog restrained ? (On a leash for some of you). I'd have done the same if it were me.

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