AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin police officer shot and killed a dog after it reportedly attacked the officer, who was responding to a call about two aggressive pit bulls roaming around an East Austin neighborhood.
It happened at 6:23 p.m. Monday at 1907 Canterbury St. after the call about the aggressive dogs.
The dog, a pit bull mix, had apparently escaped from the owner's house through a screen window.
The officer swung a flashlight to get the dog to leave and then sprayed Mace on the persistent animal.
That's when police said the dog came back at the officer to attack, and it was shot. Police said only one round was fired off, hitting the dog.
Department reviewing Cisco case
Monday's incident comes as the department is in the midst of reviewing the widely debated death of Cisco, a blue heeler killed by an Austin police officer who responded to an incorrect address while on a call about a domestic disturbance.
It happened just more than a week ago, when police Officer Thomas Griffin said he shot Cisco after he went to attack him.
The policy for dealing with dangerous animals and the training will also be examined in the case, and officials said the department will look at similar training programs across the country.
Griffin received a good evaluation during the 2010-2011 time period, including an 8-out-of-10 rating under the “judgment” skill.
His supervisor said officer, on the force for two years, has a quiet demeanor but good humor and exhibits good judgment in working his calls.
Police Chief Art Acevedo on Wednesday said in an open email to Austinites that his department has been subjected to "vile" and "serious threats" in the wake of the shooting.
He also suggested that a "mob mentality" may be feeding the public outrage.
In the message, the chief pleads with those who are offended that an officer who was sent to the wrong address and fired on the barking dog to give his department the time it needs to thoroughly examine all aspects of the incident.
"I am one person, with a department to run, a city to protect, and a family to love," the chief wrote. "I assure you that we will have some positive outcomes out of this incident, but we have to conduct our review in accordance with the law and our own policies, regardless of public sentiment."
The message, which came a day after the chief apologized to dog owner Michael Paxton, was attached to an equally emotional response to a resident who accused the department of "ignoring" the outrage over the dog's death.
"We aren't ignoring the tragic death of Cisco the dog," he said. "We are conducting a comprehensive review of the incident to include the officer's actions, as well as our protocols/training and will report our findings to Mr. Paxton and the community we serve."
Acevedo also pointed out that his department is still reeling from the April 6 shooting death of Senior Officer Jaime Padron during an otherwise routine call.
Reprinted with permission from KXAN.com