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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Cop Did NOT Attempt To Shoot Dog For Barking, Did NOT Accidentally Shoot Himself Instead

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 23 Apr 2019 07:28:29 Z)

Did a police officer named Thomas Brown try to shoot a dog named "Pepe" while drunk and did he shoot himself in the leg instead? No, that's not true: the story was put out by a satirical website but it used a screenshot from a real news report about a real incident where an LA County police officer was accidentally shot so some people believed it to be real.

The story originated from an article published on April 22, 2019 by 8Satire and was titled "Cop Attempts To Shoot Dog For Barking But Accidentally Shot Himself Instead" (archived here) which opened:

In a totally shocking incident, a police officer has shot himself on the right leg, after missing his main target, a dog. According to local officials, the dog (named "Pepe") was barking too loud in the middle of the night, and the police officer Thomas Brown woke up a little dizzy, grabbed his gun and attempted to murder him.

His wife woke up after hearing the shot, and found the dog trying to help Brown get up.

Screenshot of https://www.8satire.com/cop-attempts-to-shoot-dog-for-barking-but-accidentally-shot-himself-instead/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Cop Attempts To Shoot Dog For Barking But Accidentally Shot Himself Instead

In a totally shocking incident, a police officer has shot himself on the right leg, after missing his main target, a dog. According to local officials, the dog (named "Pepe") was barking too loud in the middle of the night, and the police officer Thomas Brown woke up a little dizzy, grabbed his gun and [...]

The picture used with the story came from a 2018 incident where an LA County deputy was injured after an accidental shooting at a Compton police station:

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy injured in apparent accidental shooting

LYNWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was injured Tuesday after an apparent accidental shooting, authorities said. The deputy is in stable condition and is undergoing treatment at a hospital. The incident occurred around 1 p.m. at the Compton station, according to a tweet from the sheriff's department.

As far as we could tell no dog named "Pepe" was involved at that tiem and that shooting did not take place at home.

The website 8Satire carries a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each page:

8Shit is a satire news and humor website. All its content is fiction (except those posts under the "serious" category) and shouldn't be taken as real. All references, names and marks or institutions in this website are used as contextual elements, like in any novel or science-fiction story.

In addition to that there is also the name of the site and the subheading "Stating the obvious" to warn site visitors that what they are reading is fiction. This firmly puts the site in the "Satire" category as far as we are concerned, as explained in our Satire Policy.

We wrote about 8satire.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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