By Danny Valentine, St. Petersburg Times
A police officer shot and killed a charging pit bull Monday afternoon inside a home, authorities said.
Officer Jereme Hayes,a three-year veteran, and two other officers were called to 843 1/2 16th Ave. N about 4:50 p.m. to investigate a report of a domestic brawl involving a resident and her ex-boyfriend, police said.
Hayes was let in the front door by one of the residents, said police spokesman Mike Puetz. The two other officers were behind him.
As they were entering, the woman who let them in shouted to another woman: "Don't let the dog out."
She was talking about the tan pit bull named Debo.
But the dog got out anyway, slipping past the resident trying to restrain him, Puetz said.
The dog charged, snarling, tail straight and rigid, mouth open, teeth exposed, Puetz said.
A woman yelled, "No, stop him."
Police said Hayes, 27, tried backing out the front door, but was blocked by the other officers.
So he pulled out a gun. The dog tried to bite his left leg. Hayes kicked him back.
The dog attacked again and the officer pointed his gun down, firing a bullet into the dog's head.
He was taken to Noah's Place Animal Medical Center, 2050 62 Ave. N with his owner, 41-year-old Tammy Kay Chabala, who was at the house at the time of the shooting but not involved in the domestic brawl, police said.
At the hospital, she told an officer Debo was normally a good dog and that she loved the animal.
"The dog was like a son to me and my girls," she told an officer at the animal hospital.
Police will review the shooting, which is standard practice. Hayes will not be placed on paid-administrative leave.