September 14, 2014
A neighborhood is recovering after a dog was shot last week by an off-duty Texas police officer, KJRH2 News reported September 13.
The incident occurred Thursday afternoon around 5 p.m. in the 6900 block of East 18th Street in Tulsa. According to Tulsa Police Department Public Information Officer Leland Ashley, an unidentified off-duty officer was walking his dog when 5-year-old Titus, a 75-pound pit bull terrier mix, escaped from his fence.
To hear an eyewitness account, as well as a statement by the owner, click here for the video.
Sarah Slane, the owner, said her dog had escaped on one other occasion, and on the night he had shot, Titus hadn’t been outside more than a few seconds.
Neighbor Grant Holm told KJRH2 that close to a dozen children and a dozen adults witnessed the shooting.
Grant said the off-duty police officer had his dog, and the two dogs began sniffing each other. When the man pulled his dog back, the hind legs didn’t move, so it reared up.
Titus came up to the other dog to investigate. It was then the off-duty officer reached behind him and pulled out a silver revolver, then bent down, and shot Titus. Grant says the shooting occurred within 30 seconds of meeting Titus.
Neighbors were terrified, as the man never identified himself as a police officer. It was a busy time in the neighborhood, with children outside playing and parents coming home from work. Grant stated to KJRH2
“He never identified himself to any of us as a police officer, and after the second shot, people were grabbing their kids, running for their homes,”
Sarah and her boyfriend Nick Blazek plan to file a report with internal affairs to have the shooting investigated. She told the news station
“To go from, oh this dog is sniffing, to not asking anyone if it’s their animal to then shooting it down with children, who would ever allow somebody like that to have that much control?”
Officer Leland is defending the off-duty officer’s right to fire his weapon, saying that anyone licensed to carry a concealed weapon who feels threatened may use that weapon for protection.
Since the officer wasn’t on duty at the time and used his personal weapon, he won’t face criminal charges.
2News submitted a request under the FOIA, but at the time of the story had not received any information.
Sarah was ticketed for having a dog at large.