Family speaks out after Pitt County deputy shoots dog; sheriffs office responds

PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – A woman in the east is distraught after a Pitt County Sheriff’s Deputy shot and killed her dog in her front yard.

Teshia Sykes says she yelled at two Pitt County deputies in her yard to not shoot her dog, Simba, who the Pitt County Sheriff’s office says was attacking a deputy’s K9.

During the commotion, Sykes says she ran inside her home to ask her fiancé to help.

“But before he had the opportunity to get out the house, we heard a gunshot,” Sykes said.

According to the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy deployed a taser on Simba first and gave commands for Sykes to retrieve their dog. When the dog continued to attack the K9, the deputy shot Simba and he ran away and eventually died.

But what led up to the shooting?

On January 31, just after 10 p.m. Sykes’ daughter, Kezia Brown, says she was walking Simba on a leash in their yard off Barrus Construction Road.

She saw a car parked in the road with its high beams on. It startled her so she ran back to her house and on the way, Simba spotted the two deputies and K9 nearby. He charged in their direction with so much force that the leash got out of Kezia’s hand and Simba attacked the K9.

“Simba was everything to us,” Brown said. “He wasn’t just a dog and I think that’s what they don’t understand.”

According to the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, the deputies were in the area searching for a suspect in a larceny in Edgecombe County.

A male suspect jumped and ran from the car and a K9 deputy responded to assist with the search and during the search is when they say Simba attacked the K9.

Sykes tells WITN she has filed a complaint and she plans on taking legal action against the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office once she finds an attorney.

A full statement from the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office can be found below.