An East Arlington man said he was left with no other option other than to open fire on his neighbor's American pit bull terrier that was snarling at the same time it was charging him.
Witnesses said the dog named Hurricane, which belongs to a Jacksonville sheriff's officer, also attacked a mailman in the neighborhood Friday while he was on his route.
"The dog was chasing neighbors into their houses, and he had the mailman pretty much locked up in his truck," witness Josh Sheprow said.
"I felt like my life was in danger at that point," Cuppoletti said.
The dog was running free because a visitor at the officer's house accidentally left the front door open, and the dog's owner was not home, according to a police report.
The dog's owners said the situation was far too emotional for them to comment, other than to say it's just like losing a child, and they wish their neighbor didn't have to use deadly force.
"They're good neighbors," Cuppoletti said. "I don't hold any hard feelings, and I understand their loss, but hopefully they understand why I did what I did."
Police said they've cleared Cuppoletti of any wrongdoing.