Owner of dog shot, killed by police officer offers emotional apology
POSTED: Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 8:00pm
UPDATED: Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 8:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Police in Nampa, Idaho have released video they say shows one of their officers shooting a dog in self-defense.
The Monday shooting ignited lots of negative reaction, but now the video is changing opinions, including that of the dog owner.
The video was taken by a small camera that officers wear all the time, and turn on when they're dealing with the public.
On Monday night officers were called to a home in Nampa for a welfare check.
In the video, you can hear the officer knocking on the slightly open door, and announcing himself. About 15 seconds later two dogs come through the door and jump up on the officer.
At a Wednesday press conference police displayed bite marks on the mace can on the officer's belt.
"Two dogs came outside of the residence and attacked one of our officers," said Craig Kingsbury, Deputy Chief of the Nampa Police Department.
On his partner's video, you can see the officer retreating back to the wall of the next door neighbor's house, before shooting the dog.
Police say they immediately took the mastiff-pit bull mix, named Junior, to a local vet's office, but he died.
"I heard 'pop, pop, pop!'" said Junior's owner, Anthony O'Hare.
He was inside when the shooting happened.
"I came running out the door, and I saw my wife with my dog, laying on the ground. She's flipping out. Everybody's flipping out," he said.
After seeing the video for the first time on Wednesday, O'Hare said the images don't match the story he heard about what happened.
"To me, it sounded like the officer saw the dog, he came up, he came down, then he shot him. But, what I just saw was, the officer was backing up, almost all the way against the wall over there, and the dog was still jumping up. So, I would've done the same thing. I swear I would've," O'Hare said.
O'Hare said, after seeing the video, he doesn't blame the officer.
While still devastated about his loss, he just wants to apologize.
"I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart that that police officer had to deal with that," said O'Hare. "I'm sorry, I'm really sorry. I wish I could take it back."
O'Hare also said the whole incident was tragic because his dogs are never outside without a leash, but for some reason that door was left open.
The Nampa Police Department will continue to perform a use of force report. The report will then be reviewed by a use of force panel to see if the officer was justified in shooting and killing the dog.