ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Arlington Police are investigating an incident where an officer shot and killed a young dog in front of several people in a neighborhood last month. The officer has been involved in two previous shootings involving dogs.
The May 4 shooting in the southeast part of the city, happened after a 911 call about two dogs running loose in the neighborhood, according to police.
Officer Jesse Davis “discharged his firearm during the encounter and struck one of the dogs” police wrote in an email.
Davis was involved in a fatal shooting of a dog in 2011, and the department cleared him of doing anything wrong. Documents provided by that dog’s owner show he was also exonerated from another use of force case in 2009.
“I knew that things like this were going to happen,” said Natalie Brett, who owned Bucky, the dog shot seven years ago. “Things like this were going to reoccur.”
Steve Holt, who lives in the neighborhood where the most recent incident happened, said the dogs, both German Shepherds, weren’t a threat, but neighbors didn’t know who owned them and couldn’t get anyone from animal control to respond.
“They were just friendly, super friendly dogs,” he said. “They were pups.”
Holt and two other neighbors told CBS11 the officer agreed at first, and left. He turned around and drove back though, they said, after seeing one of the dogs approach a woman walking her own dog down the sidewalk.
“That’s when the one dog turned, started going toward him, slowly, wagging,” Holt said. “And he kept backing up, he backed up to about the middle the street. That’s when he unloaded.”
Neighbors said they remember hearing at least four shots fired. One said he was yelling at Davis not to shoot.
“It was uncalled for,” Holt said. “He knows he did wrong.”
Randall Moore, an attorney for Davis, said the officer has been through training for dealing with dogs, but the training breaks down when there is more than one animal.
Davis had no backup, he said, had a citizen complaining about the dog’s behavior, and did what he was supposed to do.
He also questioned why Arlington had police officers handling a job that animal control officers would normally take care of.
Davis has been working while the incident has been under investigation.
Robert Crockett, said his dog Max was 7-months-old. He said he wasn’t aware he and another dog had been able to get out of a hole in the fence in the backyard.
A neighbor came to find him that night to tell him what happened. He said the city refunded almost $100 he had to pay to have his other dog released from animal control.
Brett, who still maintains a Facebook page dedicated to her dog, said she’s kept it going in part because she felt something would happen again.
“They’re going to do whatever they want,” she said. “And those officers like that do not need to be on the force.”