Nickolas B. Monroe, a 26-year-old resident of Walnut Avenue in Bunnell’s Mondex neighborhood, shot and killed a dog Thursday (Dec. 5), firing at the animal in front of its owners, a 15-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy. The teens had just asked permission from Monroe to look for their dog, a Great Pyrenees, who’d strayed onto Monroe’s property.
The dog, according to Monroe, had previously gone onto his property many times and killed more than a dozen of his chickens, and his owners had been warned.
The incident took place Thursday evening. James Smith, 59, a resident of Walnut Avenue and a neighbor of Monroe’s, had reported to 911 that ” a neighbor shot their dog in front of the children,” according to a sheriff’s incident report.
He told deputies that his daughter–the 15-year-old girl–had lost control of their dog, which had then gone into Monroe’s nearby yard. Smith’s daughter and son went looking for the dog. Monroe gave them permission to look on his property. Smith helped as well, as did Monroe, who brought a flashlight.
But Monroe told Smith that “if the dog had one of his cats he would kill it,” according to a sheriff’s incident report.
They then discovered the dog just inside the wood line in the back of Monroe’s residence. According to Smith, Monroe then pulled a gun from his waistline and shot the dog. Smith reported about six shots, though only one bullet wound was found on the dog. The dog had apparently killed one of Monroe’s cats.
“I’ll shoot you if you don’t get off my property,” Monroe then told Smith, after holstering his gun, according to Smith.
Smith got off Monroe’s property. He told deputies Monroe didn’t point the gun at him, and conceded to deputies that the dog had been “messing with the cat it had killed.”
The dog hadn’t been running loose, unattended, but had gotten loose from one of its owners. Smith’s daughter told deputies that the dog had been tied up in the yard since their property isn’t fully fenced in. She was wanting to bring the dog in the house. It pulled away and ran off. So she and her brother went looking for the dog. After Monroe gave them permission to look in his yard, they found the dog, tried to grab him, but the dog managed to run off in the woods.
“It was at that time [Monroe] was threatening to shoot the dog,” the girl told deputies. They stopped trying to catch the dog and started walking back toward the street, when Monroe fired the gun. The gunfire was accompanied by “yelling and cursing,” she told deputies.
Deputies made a “tactical approach” to Monroe’s house because of his possibility of being armed. They’d not been able to contact him by phone. Using a patrol car’s PA system, they asked him to exit his house unarmed. He complied. He was patted down.
He then spoke of the dog’s history to deputies, telling them it was the fifth time that the dog had come onto his property, and that it had previously killed 15 of his chickens. He’d spoken to Smith, even spoke to Flagler County Animal Control about the issue.
Monroe then described to deputies how he saw the dog tossing his domesticated pet cat in the air and “wringing the cat’s neck.” When he saw that, he pulled his gun out and fired, using a a Springfield 9 mm semi-automatic, legally owned.
Monroe took the deputies to the scene of the shooting. Dog and cat were lying next to each other, both dead. “I further observed the cat appeared to have been mauled, due to the matted fur on its body,” a deputy reported. The deputy observed what appeared to be a single gunshot wound next to the dog’s right ear, and no leash or chain.
“It was determined upon conclusion of the investigation that Nickolas didn’t commit any criminal act when he took the above actions,” the deputy reported.