Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wandering pit bull killed by officers

Elizabeth officials are reviewing the fatal shooting Sunday of a pit bull they said was aggressive with police officers after the year-old dog escaped his run.
The dog, named Bambam, was shot nine times before it died.
Police received a call shortly after noon that the dog was out of its pen and was in a neighbor's yard. Town administrator Chris LaMay said police had received two dog-at-large reports about Bambam on previous occasions.
When an Elizabeth police officer arrived at the house Sunday, Bambam was running loose in a nearby field.
LaMay said Bambam "was snarling and showing aggressive behavior" as the officer tried to corral the dog and return him to his pen.
The dog then lunged at the officer, who fired two rounds into Bambam, LaMay said.

A witness told the dog's owner, Randee Hert, who was not home at the time, that Bambam then went into the street, where the officer fired at the dog two more times.
Bambam then hid under the front deck of Hert's home and was shot two more times, Hert said. The officer then fired another shot at him in the yard.
An Elbert County sheriff's deputy, LaMay said, fired two more shots at Bambam because the dog was suffering.
"I think those were humane shots," LaMay said.
Hert said she is struggling to cope with the loss of Bambam. She said there were paw marks in blood on the front door as Bambam tried to make it inside the house and blood and shell casings under her deck.
"An entire clip was unloaded on my dog that hurt no one," Hert said Tuesday.
LaMay confirmed that nine shots were fired, but he wasn't sure whether they all hit the dog.
LaMay did not name the officer involved in the shooting, pending the outcome of the review, which is standard with Elizabeth's use-of-force policy.
He did say the officer was not put on paid leave, as happens in investigation of fatal shootings involving humans. The Elbert County Sheriff's Office referred calls to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth does not have a pit-bull ordinance, LaMay said.
Hert said she isn't sure how Bambam got out of his chain-link kennel, which is 12 feet by 12 feet and has a 5-foot-high fence.
"He didn't hurt anybody. He didn't attack anybody," Hert said. "He was just scared."

Denver Post 

Update June 30, 2010 1:58pm - The following article is by Carlos Illescas, Denver Post:
Cop who shot Elizabeth pit bull cleared

An Elizabeth police officer was justified in shooting a pit bull that had gotten out of its pen in May, according to an internal investigation.
The investigation was conducted by the Elizabeth Police Department and the sheriff's offices of Elbert and Douglas counties.
Meanwhile, the owner of the pit bull named Bambam faces several charges of violations of local animal ordinances, Elizabeth Police Chief Michael Phibbs said in a written statement.
Phibbs declined further comment.
After the dog lunged at an unnamed Elizabeth police officer, the officer shot Bambam seven times; an Elbert County Sheriff's deputy shot the dog twice to put him out of his misery because it was suffering.
The owner of the dog, Randee Hert, was not home at the time of the shooting. But she previously said she was not sure how Bambam got out of his chain-link kennel, which is 12 feet by 12 feet and has a 5-foot-high fence.

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