THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4)– A Thornton family’s dog was shot and killed by police and now they want an apology from that officer.
Last week a suspect ran in front of the Lara family’s home near West 100th Avenue and Federal in Thornton while being pursued by police. The shooting happened as officers chased the man.
The family is heartbroken over the loss of their dog, Scar.
“I’m devastated. He was my best friend, my companion, they took a part of me when he got shot,” said Scar’s owner John Lara.
The suspect police were chasing was wanted on a felony menacing charge in Commerce City.
Neighbors watched what happened as police raced into their neighborhood.
“All of a sudden all these police cars come screeching around on the left hand side. They stopped in the middle of the street and you know how they put their hands out,” said neighbor Vivian Giron.
She said police were yelling and she went to her back porch to watch the police activity.
Giron said she saw the suspect in custody and then, “I heard the bullet. It was so loud.”
Another neighbor, James, who asked that his last name not be used, watched from across the street, “I started yelling from over there, ‘Oh my God! You shot the dog, you shot the dog!'”
He said the dog never left the yard.
“He wasn’t lunging, wasn’t jumping. I don’t think he growled or barked. I think he yelped. That’s the only thing I can remember after he got shot,” said James.
A police officer had shot Scar in the face in the front yard. His owner was not home at the time.
“He could have possibly been mistaken as a pit bull. I think maybe that’s what took place,” said Lara.
Scar is not a pit bull. He’s an American Bulldog mix with no history of aggression.
Thornton police told CBS4 that supervisors on scene and command staff have investigated the shooting and the officer’s actions were deemed appropriate. That officer remains on the job.
Thornton police have released this statement in regards to the incident, “The dog charged one of the officers and began to leap at one of the officers. To protect himself from the attack as the dog’s mouth was open while charging, the officer fired one round and struck the animal.”
During the incident, officers arrested the suspect on possession of a broken marijuana pipe.
The Lara family is not only demanding an apology from the officer but has consulted with an attorney who is advising them of their legal rights.