A Colorado Springs family is mourning the loss of their pit bull Kara, who was shot by Springs police early Friday morning. KKTV News reported August 30.
Police were searching for the suspect in a vehicle break in near Sandpiper Drive. Officers had originally been searching the neighborhood near Grosbear Lane and Wineskin Drive shortly after the 3 a.m. break in was reported.
Witnesses told police the suspect had left the area on foot or in a dark colored SUV. Sandpiper drive is only about a mile away, so police ventured there to continue their investigation.
Kara's owner, Joshua Burch was on his porch with Kara, while his wife and children slept inside. Joshua told KKTV he was concerned because there had been crime in the neighborhood, and he was keeping watch. At some point Joshua fell asleep, and was awakened around 4 a.m. to gunshots.
Police tell that responding officers saw a man walking around on Sandpiper Drive, and they were about to question him when Kara starting running toward them. Officers were unable to scare Kara away, and say they were forced to shoot the dog.
A total of four shots were fired by officers. Two of the bullets ricocheted and went through the bedroom window where Joshua's wife was sleeping. A second bullet hole was found later today. Kara, age 2 1/2, is dead.
Joshua is upset at police, not only for killing his dog, but because they put his family in danger. In an interview with KKTV, Joshua stated
"I was torn up they killed my dog. But my biggest concern was they could have killed someone in my family."
No word has been released as to the location where Kara was shot. Was she behind a fence? Was she in her own yard? It would appear the dog was on her own turf, since ricocheting bullets had to have been close to the home to have gone through the window.
The video taken by KKTV isn't available for embedding, but you can view it here.
The burglar suspect hasn't been caught. Matthew Rodenberger, 22, fired at the burglary suspect multiple times after seeing him attempt to open his car door. Police say two vehicles on the street, as well as a vacant building, were struck by some of the rounds Rodenberger fired.
Rodenberger was arrested for illegal discharge of a firearm, criminal mischief and prohibited use of a weapon. However, officers who shot a family dog, and put those sleeping inside in danger, will most likely be cleared by the department.
Colorado Springs Police Department is taking a lot of criticism on their Facebook page.
The police report for this incidents states
August 30, 2013
Sand Creek -- Shift III
1100 Sandpiper Drive
Officers were in the 1100 block of Sandpiper Drive looking for suspects in a nearby burglary of a motor vehicle. Officers attempted to contact a male on Sandpiper Drive when an aggressive, full grown pit bull charged at the officers. Officers tried to get the dog to stop, but the dog continued to charge at them. An officer fired a gunshot at the dog to prevent officers from getting attacked, killing the dog.
The investigation is on-going.
Officers fired four shots at the dog. One of the bullets ricocheted off the ground and entered a residence, causing damage to the house. No one inside that residence was injured.
Lt. Anderson - 444-7270
Colorado recently passed the Dog Protection Act, which will make dog behavior training mandatory for police officers. This training must take place by September 2014. How many more dogs will lose their life at the hand of untrained police during the next year? Your comments are welcome.