On March 29, 2021 Travis Sibley, 48, of Finger Tenn., was arrested and charged with the intentional killing of an animal. It is unclear if Sibley was jailed for the offense. According to the McNairy County Sheriff’s Report the animal involved was later discovered to be K-9 Officer Bishop of the Selmer City Police Department.
Sibley claimed that the dog had charged him and his young son earlier that same evening. He told Deputy Kelso of the McNairy County Sheriff’s Office, who had been dispatched to the scene, that he had seen his neighbor screaming at two dogs and swatting a stick at them to get them away from her that same day.
According to the report Sibley said he went to the end of his driveway after retrieving his shotgun and waited to see if the dogs would return. Upon the return of the dogs along the road He fired three times. After the first shot one of the dogs was hit. The dog that was not struck turned and ran. The second shot fired by Sibley missed, however the third shot “dropped” the dog that was running towards him.
In a statement from the Selmer City Police Department the K-9 (Officer Bishop) was home with his handler K-9 Officer Robert Heathcock IV on the evening of the incident. Officer Heathcock went to the K-9’s kennel to check on him and found him missing. The officer located Bishop’s body in a ditch on Finger Leapwood Road.
According to the police report K-9 Bishop suffered two gunshot wounds. The first shot seems to have struck Officer Bishop while he was not facing Mr. Sibley. The report states that one shot appeared to be on the broadside of the K-9 and the other shot was near the rear of K-9. The Broadside shot is believed to be the one that was fatal to Bishop.
A statement released by Selmer City Police Department read “We are very saddened by the loss. K-9 Bishop served with the Selmer Police Department for four years and will be greatly missed.”
This incident is currently under investigation. Read more about this and other breaking news in next week's edition of the Independent Appeal.