A mother is outraged after a police officer in Hometown, Illinois, shot her family’s dog in the head right in front of her 6-year-old daughter on Friday. On Monday, the police chief announced that the officer involved in the shooting has been fired.
The tragic incident was set into motion after police received a 911 call from the owners of a 16-month-old German Shepherd/pit bull mix named Apollo, who said their family dog was on the loose. An officer eventually found the dog and reportedly followed it back to its home when the animal "growled and approached him in a threatening manner.”
The officer reportedly responded by pulling out his firearm and shooting the dog.
Nicole Echlin, the dog’s owner, said she was trying to get her dog inside when the officer drew his gun.
“We were in the lawn and the cop already had his gun out. I tried to call him in the house and he just stood there staring and I guess he showed his teeth and the cop just shot him,” she told NBC Chicago. “Right in front of me and my 6-year-old daughter.”
Echlin says her daughter started screaming and fell to the floor after seeing her dog get shot. The mother picked up her child and took her inside. As for Echlin, she says she's "still in shock" over what happened to her dog.
Witnesses told the news station that the dog didn’t appear to be threatening the officer when the shooting occurred.
One neighbor claimed the dog “wasn’t doing anything,” while another said the animal was not moving or lunging at the officer when it was shot. Echlin says her dog “showed a little bit of his teeth” when the officer took out his gun and the cop immediately shot the dog.
Hometown Police Chief Charles Forsyth announced on Monday that he had fired the officer involved, even though he “may have been justified under the Illinois Use of Force statute governing deadly force.”