Police: Off-duty officer killed dog as it attacked 7-year-old boy

Updated: May. 9, 2017 at 2:04 PM EDT
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GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - No charges are expected to be filed after an off-duty police officer had to kill a dog that would not stop attacking a boy in the Liberty Hall Plantation area Monday evening, police say.

Goose Creek Police responded to a home on Greywood Drive at approximately 6:12 p.m. to investigate a report of a boy being bitten by a dog.

According to the incident report, the off-duty officer told police he had been inside his home when he began to hear screams that became louder and more frantic, leading him to pick up his service weapon, a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver, and go outside to investigate. The officer said he walked past a neighbor's home to the location of the screams and found the boy being bitten by what he described as a "brown and white pit bull dog."

The boy was frantically screaming in pain for help, he told investigators. The officer said he approached the dog and yelled at it several times hoping to distract it, but said the dog would not stop biting the child, who was rolling from side to side an attempt to get the dog off of him.

The officer told police he determined he had no way to stop the dog other than to "neutralize" it, and said he cleared other children away and made sure the victim was away from the line of fire, then fired five shots into the dog's back, the report states.

A witness who was jogging in the area at the time of the incident corroborated the officer's account, telling police the officer "had no choice but to neutralize the animal to prevent any further attack," the report states.

Police were able to make contact with the owner of the dog, who said he was not home at the time of the incident and said his dog was normally locked up in the back yard as it was when he left his home, the report states. The dog owner's son told police he opened the back gate, not realizing the dog was outside and not realizing it would follow him out of the gate. The child told police the dog ran up to the victim and began sniffing him initially. When the dog owner's son grabbed the dog, the victim began backing away in fear and the dog broke free and attacked, the report states.

No charges are expected to be filed, according to Goose Creek Police Maj. John Grainger.

The report does not identify the agency the off-duty officer works for, but Grainger said he is not an officer with Goose Creek Police.

Police say the boy was being treated by Berkeley County EMS personnel and had several scratches and bite marks to the left side of his abdomen, the report states. The reporting officer indicated the bite marks appeared to be "fresh and still somewhat bleeding" and it appeared bruises were beginning to form in the area of the boy's ribcage.

The boy's father told police that before the attack, the child had asked permission to go outside with friends and play in the neighborhood. The boy's parents gave him permission as long as he stayed in the surrounding area, the report states. The victim's parents then walked their dog around the neighborhood, and while they were doing so, they heard gunshots in the area, the report states. The boy's father told police when they neared their home, they saw their son being tended to by the officer.

The boy was transported to Summerville Medical Center for treatment, police say. Police confirmed from the dog's owner that the animal was up to date on its vaccinations, the report states.

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