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Family wants answers after pit bull killed by police investigating phone theft

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An upstate South Carolina dog is dead, and now the family wants answers. Fox Carolina began the story on their Facebook page May 20, where the family spoke exclusively with their reporter.

A video of the interview held with family members can be found by clicking here.

Adrien Best, the owner of a pit bull named Cream, and her family, are grieving tonight after Anderson Police showed up at their home on East Franklin Street Monday afternoon to investigate a cell phone theft relayed to them through Anderson County Sheriff's Department.

It concerned a cell phone being stolen from a student who attends Hanna High School, which is under jurisdiction of Anderson County. The phone was believed to be at a home in the city of Anderson and 'pinged' to their address.

According to a video shown on Fox Carolina on their 11:00p.m. newscast, the family says more than half a dozen officers showed up on their property, guns drawn. Before one of the children could get to the door, the child heard gunfire.

The family dog, who was reportedly hit once, ran off into some bushes, and no longer posed a threat. Witnesses say the officer went over to the bushes and fired a second shot, killing the family pet.

Adriene told Fox Carolina four children were playing outside, and could have been hit if a bullet had strayed. She believes so many police arriving at her residence over a stolen cell phone was 'overkill.'

A police report filed by Officer Joey Chapman told a different story. Chapman stated Captain Aman shot the dog in self defense

"A brown and white dog charged myself and Captain Aman. Officers did draw duty issue weapons and felt in fear that the dog was going to attack, due to the threatening manner that it was coming at officers."

The person who had possession of the cell phone didn't live at the home, but was a friend of one of the children.

The family of the dog killed doesn't understand why it took so many officer's to investigate a missing cell phone case. By the time it was over, more than half a dozen police cars were called to the scene.

Adrian Gaines, who witnessed the tragedy, told Fox Carolina

"The dog didn't bark, show any teeth didn't rush them didn't growl or anything."

Adrian also claims police chased his little brother around the house with a gun until officer's saw their dog.

Anderson County verified information that the school resource person who filed the claim wasn't even on scene when Anderson police went to investigate.

Anderson police say that since the dog wasn't tied up or in a fence that they had no choice but to shoot it.

No one wants a police officer to be attacked by a dog. Those who love their pets relate closely to the families affected, and wish police would learn to use non-lethal methods to subdue an "attacking" dog.

Dog training, and use of non-lethal weapons should be a requirement for each and every department.

Contacts for the city of Anderson listed below.

Roberts Terence Mayor
864- 231-2200 Ext 1026
troberts@cityofandersonsc.com

Jim Stewart, Chief
401 South Main Street
Anderson, SC 29624
(864) 231-2272

Your comments are welcome. Please do not make any threats against the officers or department involved. Doing so will only lower those who fight for the animals to their level. It's more productive to contact those who have the power to act.

For more of Elisa's articles on dogs shot by police, click here.

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