Friday 30 September 2016

Beloved family dog shot and killed by policeman he was running to greet

*Warning graphic content*

David Kearns

Published 22/10/2015 | 12:04

The officer involved has been place on administrative leave, according to police
The officer involved has been place on administrative leave, according to police

A family pet was shot and killed in front of its owners by a police officer when it ran up to greet him.

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The dog, a 40-pound bull terrier called Duchess, was shot three times by the officer after he knocked on the family’s front door in Florida to tell them their car door was open.

*Warning graphic content*

The shooting was caught on surveillance video and shows the officer immediately stepping back and opening fire as the two-year-old dog runs into the garden when its owners open the door.

"My daughter went to try to help her and she was still wagging her tail," the dog's owner, Gillian Palacios.

"She was there dying on the sidewalk."  

2-year-old bulldog-mix Duchess Credit: Facebook
2-year-old bulldog-mix Duchess Credit: Facebook

The surveillance footage appears to back up Ms Palacios’ claim that the dog was not being aggressive and was not barking at the time.

The family, who were visibly distraught over the loss in photos taken after the incident, said they did not understand why their dog was killed for running into their garden.    

Gillian Palacios crying over her slain pet Credit: Facebook
Gillian Palacios crying over her slain pet Credit: Facebook

“Before I could even do anything, the officer had his gun out and shot her three times in the head,” said Ms Palacios.

“She was curious. She wasn’t barking (and) she wasn’t growling. There was no reason for him to think she was aggressive in any way.”

She added: "There needs to be some better training for these police officer… the first thing you do is not pull out your gun and start shooting. That's the first problem.”

The police officer, who has not been identified, claimed the dog was ‘charging after him’ when he shot her.

After killing the animal, he told the family Animal Services would come around to pick up the dog.

He has since been put on administrative leave.  

A Florida City police spokesman Officer Ken Armenteros said: “We don’t have the luxury of hindsight. We have to use the information that is given to us in a split second.

“So, the officer has to make that decision with the information that he has available.”

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