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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – A Cleburne police officer says an aggressive pitbull charged at him, so he shot the dog three times, killing the animal.

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The incident happened in August, but body camera video, just released by Cleburne police, had sparked outrage for the officer’s handling of the incident.

In a report, the officer — who has not been identified — says he was called to Lindsey Lane after a woman called 911 because three pitbulls were snarling at the car door, preventing people from exiting.

The dogs, which belonged to a neighbor, were on the loose when police arrived.  One pitbull ran to the officer, tail wagging.  Body camera video shows the officer going behind the property, down an alleyway to where he located the other two dogs in a ditch.

In the video, the officer can be heard making ‘kissing’ noises at the dogs to calm them.  In the report, the officer says one dog growled, and took an aggressive posture.  The officer raised his weapon, and stated, the dog came up the hill growling and showing teeth.  That’s when the officer says he fired three times, shooting the dog dead.

“To call the dog and act like you’re going to be sweet to the dog, and you just blatantly shoot it, I don’t think that’s right at all,” says Virginia Granger, who lives on the street.

Kristin Dodge knew the family who owned the animals. She says the dogs were friendly to her kids and other neighbors.

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“These are people’s pets. These are people’s family. To see something like that happen wasn’t really necessary, I think,” said Dodge.

She says both her neighbors who owned the pitbulls, and the people whose visitors called 911, have moved out of the neighborhood.

A spokesperson for Cleburne police said the city is concerned about the video, but that it does not tell the whole story.  Police say the officer was attempting to secure the dogs until animal control arrived when one dog became aggressive.

The police department is seeking the public’s help, asking for anyone who observed the incident to call the Professional Standards Unit, at 817.556.8894.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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