On Monday, the Hometown, Ill., Police Department announced that the police officer who fatally shot a family's young dog in front of a child, has been terminated.
The department's Chief of Police, Charles Forsyth, released the information about the officer's termination in a release which states:
On 7/25/14 Police Dispatch received a phone call (recorded call on file) from the dog owners home that their dog a 16 month shepard/pit mix (sic) was loose and requested the Police to watch out for the dog.The Officer located the dog in the area and followed it back to its home. The Officer reports while attempting to coax the dog back into the house the dog turned, growled and approached him in a threatening manner.
The Officer then withdrew his service weapon and fired one shot striking the dog. Although the Officer may have been justified under the Illinois Use of Force statute governing deadly force, I have made the decision to terminate that Officers employment with the Hometown Police Department. In addition, all reports and witness statements will be forwarded to the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Unit to be reviewed.
As was previously reported, the young dog, a shepherd mix named "Apollo," had escaped from his family's yard and according to his owner, Nicole Echlin, after being returned to his yard he was shot in the head by a police officer.
After the shooting, Echlin told NBC Chicago:
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, right in front of me and my 6-year-old daughter.”
A witness to the fatal shooting described what they observed:
The dog wasn’t doing anything. I didn’t see it doing anything, it wasn’t barking,”
Then I saw a cop shoot the dog, the dog fell to ground on the lawn. I saw through the window the dog was on the floor shot but the dog was still moving, it was moving its legs like it was trying to run but it was laying down.”
Apollo survived the shooting, but the injuries were severe enough that he passed away the next day. Following Apollo's death, a Justice for Apollo Facebook page was established - there are currently over 8,000 followers.
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