On the night of March 2, the Laymon family left their home in Rogers County, Oklahoma to attend a weeknight church group. Little did they anticipate that when they returned they would find the family dog, Bruno, bleeding on their front porch from a gunshot wound. Left behind at this horrific scene was a note on their front door, explaining that Bruno had been shot by a deputy sheriff. The officer was nowhere in sight. Bruno was left injured, in pain, and possibly to die.
Earlier that evening, a call was made to the Rogers County sheriff’s department from a household about a half mile south of the Laymon family home. The caller stated they heard nearby gunshots. Deputy officers were sent out to investigate the neighborhood.
Despite being quite a distance from the caller’s location, a deputy drove into the Laymon’s long driveway and parked the patrol car. The deputy exited his vehicle and encountered Bruno, who excitedly barked at the officer and ran around the yard. The officer then pulled out his gun, senselessly shot Bruno, and vacated the scene.
The bleeding and dying German Shepherd faithfully waited on the front porch of the family home for three hours for the Laymons to return.
The three young daughters were the first to find Bruno in his injured state, covered in blood and crying. Angie Laymon and her husband returned shortly thereafter. They also found a note on the door reading, “We were investigating a crime and your dog attacked our deputy. The dog was shot and we need you to call us.”
The Laymon family rushed Bruno to the vet, contemplating the likely possibility that he would have to be put down. The bullet shattered Bruno’s shoulder, and he was kept in the hospital as they further observed him and decided what to do.
Angie Laymon contacted the sheriff’s department, but was given the runaround. According to surveillance video as well as the deputy’s testimony, Bruno allegedly never made physical contact with the deputy. The deputy, however, felt “threatened” by the Bruno’s barking—so threatened that he deemed it necessary to shoot Bruno in the shoulder and leave him to die.
“German Shepherds are protective, sweet, loyal companions and one of the best family-oriented breeds you can find,” commented Laymon. “Bruno was a part of our family. Bruno protected and watched over my kids daily. Bruno walks my kids to the end of the driveway and waits with them for the school bus – rain or shine.”
Fortunately, Bruno’s life was saved; however, his shoulder was so shattered from the gunshot that his leg had to be amputated. A GoFundMe campaign for Bruno has raised over $12k to back the vet bills for Bruno as well as help with any physical therapy costs or legal counsel sought by the Laymon family in the future.
Angie Laymon has chosen not name the deputy in any of her statements and asked that he remain unnamed by the media. She wants Bruno’s attack to be the end of the line in violence.
“Thousands of people are heartsick at what has been done to Bruno. It is horrible, it is tragic, it is heartbreaking for my children to have witnessed it,” she writes on Facebook. “But what if someone decides to take revenge? What if someone takes the name that I share and takes justice into their own hands. What if another senseless tragedy follows the first?”
Laymon’s decision to take the high road is indeed admirable. She along with the many others who have contributed to Bruno’s circumstances, hope that Rogers County will take a good look at their protocol, particularly toward animals.