COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus family is grieving over the loss of their dog killed during a police chase Tuesday afternoon around 12:30 p.m.
Major J. D. Hawk with the Columbus Police Department said two officers were chasing a suspected drug dealer on Illges Road when the man jumped a fence surrounding the backyard of a home on Booker Avenue.
Witnesses and the dog's owner said three pitbulls were in the backyard but the suspect and the first officer managed to pass through the yard without incident.
When a second officer entered the yard, Hawk said, that's when two dogs came at the officer.
"They are upset and I understand it; I've been through this in my lifetime with a dog being shot. And It's a bad experience animals are like part of the family to people," explained Major Hawk.
We spoke to an eyewitness who wanted to remain anonymous. He said he saw the scene unfold while sitting on his front porch.
"Two cops pulled up, one passed the two guys and they jumped out and tried to box them in. One guy ran and cut through a neighbors and passed all
three dogs. Next thing you know, the officer went through the same yard and you heard a shot where he shot the dog and kept running after the guy."
The owner of the dog said he's hurting and so is the rest of the family.
"The dog was shot in the back, looks like he was trying to get away. He's only 7 months old and he's a puppy. He wasn't going to hurt anybody."
The owner said he was going to bury the dog himself after the city offered to dispose of the remains for a fee.
According to Major Hawk, the suspect was captured and arrested, and the officer who fired the gun has been placed on administrative leave with pay.
The case is being investigated by the Office of Professional Standards at CPD.
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