RAINS COUNTY -- Former Rains County Sheriff's Deputy Jarrod Dooley gave a very emotional interview Friday, days after a controversial shooting where he shot a beloved family dog.
Dooley wiped away tears as he tried to explain why he shot Candy, a 2-year-old blue heeler.
"I tried, but I didn't think I could get away from her," he said, pausing to compose himself. “I told her to get back, she wouldn't get back... And I fired two shots."
Dooley said he is a dog lover himself, and once worked for the SPCA. He said when he first drove up to a farm in Point, Texas, on a burglary call, Candy was not acting aggressive, so he got out of the car.
He said that’s when Candy came at him, and that he didn’t want to shoot her. He described the moment he told the dog's owner, Cole Middleton, he had shot Candy.
"[I said] 'Before we start, you dog charged me, and I had to shoot her...' And he got upset, which is understandable -- I'd be upset if it was my dog," the former deputy said through tears. "I love mine like he's my son. I tried to calm [Cole Middleton] down, it wasn't workin'."
The shooting has sparked outrage across the world after Cole Middleton took his story to social media and released a video. It shows other officers mugging for the camera just after the shooting.
Dooley, who is a single father, said he and his son have received death threats.
“I can’t go to the grocery store without being recognized, pointed at, laughed at," Dooley said. "Can't pay my water bill without hearing my name, saying 'There's the sorry cop that killed the dog.'"
Dooley was fired and his life has been turned upside down. He said he can’t change what happened, but feels for the owner’s loss.
"I wish I could take his hurt away," Dooley said. "I can't begin to imagine how bad it hurt. I hear her yelp every night before I go to bed. There's probably not a minute that goes by that I don't think about it. I'd give anything to walk up to him, hug his neck, try to make his pain go away. I know I'll never get that chance."
Dooley said he doesn't intend to sue over his termination. He just wanted to speak to News 8 to tell his side of the story.