Jonathan King Says His Dog Boomer Didn't Deserve to Die

Golden Retriever Boomer was seven years old.

ByEmily Friedman
December 20, 2010, 5:26 PM

Dec. 21, 2010 — -- An Atlanta teen is devastated after he says cops shot and killed his beloved golden retriever "Boomer" for doing what he's supposed to do: bark.

"I feel like my best friend is gone," said 19-year-old Jonathan King. "I feel like cold-blooded murder happened on my front lawn."

"Boomer was doing what he was supposed to do, barking at someone who isn't supposed to be on my land," said King.

King said that an officer from the Clayton County Police Department was called to his mother's subdivision in Jonesboro, Ga., to investigate a disturbance. While King says he did not witness the shooting, a neighbor told him that he saw the dog approach the cop and then immediately fall to the ground upon being shot.

"My neighbor told me it happened so quick that he was speechless," said King, who was down the block when Boomer was shot. "He said that he didn't think you could even pull your firearm out and discharge it that fast."

Repeated calls to Clayton County Police Lt. Tina Daniel were not returned, but Daniel told ABC News' Atlanta affiliate WSB that the officer, who has not been named, was approached by Boomer, who "began barking and running" toward him.

Daniel told WSB that the officer commanded the dog to stop but it did not, leading him to shoot and kill him.

Asked whether the officer might have been afraid Boomer was going to bite, King said, "Never once in seven years has Boomer bitten anyone, and I have hundreds of people who can testify."

Holding back tears, King told ABC News that seven-year-old Boomer had given his family a "sense of security" since their father died of cancer eight years ago.

King said that he and his five siblings and his widowed mother, "shouldn't have to deal with this."

"It's killing them just as much as me, they loved the dog too," said King. "The dog gave us a sense of comfort, my mom shouldn't have to deal with this."

Reached by telephone, King's neighbor who said he witnessed the shooting, and who asked that his name not be used, said the shooting was unwarranted.

"He's not an attack dog," the neighbor said of Boomer. "He's a golden retriever and that's it."

"I've known this dog since he was a puppy," he said. "I've known the boy since he was a little boy. It was a horrible thing to see this kid go through this."

"Now this poor kid has to go through Christmas without his dog," he added.

King says that he knows nothing will bring back Boomer but says he hopes justice will be served.

"Just because he's a police officer doesn't mean he can walk into someone's yard and shoot their dog," he said.

Boomer was buried in a field where he and King would often go bird hunting, according to King.

"The saddest part of it was that Boomer was still wagging tail after he was shot," said King.

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