Cop Under Fire For Dog Shooting

News
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - 3:33pm

Officer killed two leashed dogs after fight.

A St. Petersburg police officer is under investigation after he shot and killed two dogs while they were being held on leashes.

On Sunday evening Officer Slobodan Juric was dispatched to a suspicious person call.

When Juric arrived he talked to residents who were outside about the call and asked if they had seen the person who was wanted.

Meanwhile, Chris Clark was walking his Rottweiler, Quincy, and a friend's Chesapeake Bay retriever, Missy, on leashes.

That's when he said a blind Labrador ran up and began fighting with Missy.

Clark said the dogs' leashes got wrapped around his legs and caused him to fall down, so he grabbed them by the collars.

"While I'm still sitting on the ground, I hear, 'Mad dog,' and I've got a gun right next to my head firing and shooting Missy, the Chesapeake retriever. Then he comes over and shoots my dog in front of me," Clark said.

By that point the dogs weren't fighting anymore and the other dog had moved away, Clark said.

Juric shot at the dogs four times, killing both Quincy and Missy.

Clark said both dogs had calm dispositions and often played with other dogs at the local dog park.

He said Sunday night's incident was nothing more than a loud but harmless fight between dogs.

"There were four owners there who could easily have handled this and there's no reason for him to shoot," Clark said.

Clark also questioned why Juric used his gun in such close proximity to other neighbors who were helping to separate the dogs.

The agency's internal affairs office has opened a case into the shooting, which is standard practice when a shooting happens.

"Obviously, anytime we use deadly force it's a serious matter, whether involving dogs or humans or anything like that. So we take it very seriously and we are going to have our internal affairs investigators do a thorough review," said Mike Puetz, St. Petersburg Police spokesman.
 

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