Accusations are flying after an off-duty police officer in Chicago shot a neighbor’s Pit Bull while on a walk with his son, and the Independent Police Review Authority is now investigating the incident.
According to the officer, an eight-year veteran of the force, he was out with his young son on North Oketo Avenue, when Maximus, a neighbor’s 4-month-old Pit Bull, charged at them. He shot the dog eight times.
“It’s supposed to be on a leash. If that dog is on a leash this never happens,” the officer told NBC Chicago. “[My son] wanted to ride his bike. So he’s riding down the sidewalk. As I’m walking down the street the dog comes out of the gangway charging at him.”
Neighbors, however, dispute those events. They say Maximus never barked. They say the boy was nearly a block away during the shooting, according to CBS Chicago.
The dog’s owner, Samantha Maglaya, also disputes the story.
“I ran to my dog and my kids were standing all around him screaming and crying,” she told CBS Chicago. “There was no son there. The whole time I was holding my dog and he was bleeding all over us and the kids are screaming and crying, his son was not there.”
The dog had accidentally escaped from the backyard after her kids left the gate open. The dog made it to the front of the house, where he was shot.
Maglaya is shocked at the outcome, remembering a dog who was gentle and kind: “He would sit in the yard and listen to the birds. He didn’t even bark. He never growled. He was the biggest baby.”
“How do you explain to your kids police officers are nice people if they’re shooting your puppy?” she said. “He was extremely friendly. He didn’t bark, he didn’t growl. There was no mistaking this dog for being mean at all.”
The officer’s wife also spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times and provided her version and interpretation of events.
“He’s 5 years old. He was on his bike. This is a Pit Bull. Do you want to take that chance on a 5-year-old?” she said. “I know that my son’s life could have been in danger … and the fact that my son was protected, that’s what I care about.”
She also said that they had previously asked the family to keep the dog on a leash.
A police sergeant interviewed the officer and the family, and the Independent Police Review Authority is investigating the incident. We’ll let you know the results once they’re released.